The days of seeing a clean Bellandur lake may not be near, at least not for another three years or more. At least that's what the state government's action plan submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) says. Despite the NGT's repeated warnings to take up cleaning exercise on a war-footing, the State government has been giving its reasons for its delay over cleaning the lake. Now, the action plan submitted by the state government clearly states that it is impossible to clean up the lake not until 2020.

Not taking the light of the state government's explanations for the delay in the clean-up process, the tribunal on August 22 had rapped the government to submit an action plan to clean the lake in 10 days. The action report which is available with Kannada Prabha has made some disappointing observations that not until 2020, the lake would be clean! The reasons given by the state government are aplenty.

1. To clean up the lake and develop the lake area, it is essential to treat the effluents completely or to the maximum level that flow into the lake. But to do that the treatment plants being set up by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) need a function to their capacity. And this would be possible only by 2020, December. Once the treatment plants are ready, the government will take up desilting works at the lake, reports Kannada Prabha quoting the report. According to the report, it needs Rs 350 crore to desilt the lake. Unless the measures are not taken to stop the sewage from entering the lake, desilting would not be possible.

2. Earlier, the NGT had asked the state government to explore the options of one-time cleaning of the lake. But the state government feels that it is not only highly impossible but will also be a futile exercise. For, the Bengaluru Development Authority needs at least Rs 550 crore for one time clean up exercise. Unless the treatment plants are ready, opting for the one time clean up process is a criminal waste of public money.

3. Interestingly, the state government has also prepared its 'Plan B', in case the tribunal feels the 'three-time' period is very long! As per its 'Plan B', by 2017, effluents that flow into the lake from Koramangala and Iblur areas would be reduced by at least to 100 Millions of Litres Per Day (MLD). And this would help in diverting the effluent, says the report. In fact, to upgrade the present treatment plants, the government needs Rs 298 crore, and the work to upgrade these plants would be complete by 2020.

The report observes that among the 873 apartment complexes around the Bellandur and Varthur lake, 356 apartment complexes still do not have sewage treatment plants (STP). STPs are coming up in only 46 apartment complexes, claims the report.

The Tribunal will hear the issue next on October 4.