‘Why is govt. unable to clean Bellandur lake even after several years?’

Questioning why the State government is not able to find a solution to clean the polluted Bellandur lake, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed a senior officer of the State, who can speak on behalf of all the departments and agencies of the State involved in cleaning the lake, to personally be present in the court on Friday.

A division bench comprising Justice H.G. Ramesh and Justice Mohammad Nawaz issued an oral direction in this regard while hearing a petition filed by Rajya Sabha member D. Kupendra Reddy. The petitioner had sought the court’s directions to authorities to clean the lake and take measures to prevent the lake from being polluted.

“For three years, a big government of Karnataka could not do this small job [of cleaning a polluted lake]. What were they doing? A responsible officer of the government, who can speak for all departments, should be present on Friday,” the bench observed orally when it was pointed out that multiple government agencies, including the Bangalore Development Authority, are engaged in cleaning the lake. It was also pointed out to the court that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has already issued various directions to authorities on cleaning of the lake.

While NGT, on a separate plea filed by Mr. Reddy, had issued several directions on cleaning the lake, the high court had in January last year appointed Principal Secretaries of the Urban Development and the Environment departments as special officers to take remedial measures to restore and rejuvenate the lake.

The special officers had submitted a couple of status report indicating the plan of action to rejuvenate the lake based on recommendations made by a committee of experts.

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