The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has clearly conveyed on Wednesday, that it is going to implement a rule making it compulsory for all apartments in the surrounding area of Bellandur Lake to install Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), reported Kannada Prabha.

The NGT had issued an order last April stating that all apartments around Bellandur Lake must install SPT. On Sept 22 NGT issued another order directing the State Government to submit an action plan, consisting details of apartments having installed STPs.

Responding to this the Federation of Apartments Association had appealed to the NGT to exempt old apartments from this order as the apartments had already paid the necessary fees to the Bengaluru Slum Clearance Board (SCB) for effluent treatment. They claimed that they had underground sewage system and it is the responsibility of the Slum Clearance Board to treat the effluent. Also they claimed that they are not letting any effluent directly into the Bellandur Lake.  

The effluent must be treated at the STP by SCB. Of the 418 million litre eluent reaching Bellandur Lake only three per cent is from the old apartments. Hence the old apartments that have got into an agreement with the SCB must be exempted from installing new STP, they appealed. However MP Kupendra Reddy’s lawyers strongly objected to this appeal.

Chief of Tribunal Justice Swatantra Kumar did not approve the appeal and said they should not become a part of the problem instead they must be a part of the solution. They must make their contribution to the solution of effluent treatment, he said. However, he also suggested that the old apartment owners must discuss with the officials of SCB and sort out the issue. He said letting effluent into the lake will not be permitted and lake cleaning is not only the responsibility of the government but civilians must also play a role in it.

Meanwhile, the NGT has given a weeks’ time to the defendants to study and submit a response to the fact report submitted by the State government. It also cautioned that it is the last opportunity. Extra 4 days will be allowed to submit ancillary documents supporting their claim justice said.

Justice Swatantra Kumar also rejected the appeal made by a private company AG Dauters claiming it has the technology to produce electricity and natural gas using the polluted water and silt from the lake and requesting to make them partners. He instructed them to contact the State Government.  The advocates for the State said applications in huge numbers have been received by the State Government also in this regard and they are being scrutinised and in case needed would hold talks with the representatives of the companies.