BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) will launch an inspection of 159 apartment complexes and other commercial establishments in the Bellandur lake catchment area -estimated to cover a third of the city -to assess the operational efficiency of sewage treatment plants (STPs).
“We have formed a team of 30 officers to carry out this exercise,“ Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) chairman Lakshman told ET.
The inspection follows last week’s rap by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which gave authorities a month to take steps to arrest pollution of the 919-acre lake, the city’s largest water body. The flow of untreated sewage into the lake is a significant reason for its pollution.“Once the inspection starts, I hope to get reports in 8-10 days. Further action will be taken based on these reports,“ Lakshman said.
The focus on sewage flowing into the Bellandur lake comes at a time when apartments in the vicinity are grappling to comply with the `zero liquid discharge’ policy, which requires them to reuse 100% of the treated sewage. “We received a notice from the BWSSB a month ago pointing out that we were letting out treated sewage and that we are ex pected to ensure zero discharge,“ a resident living in a 240-unit apartment, who requested anonymity, said. “We are left with excess treated water even after using it for landscaping and car washing. What do we do with excess water?“ A volunteer from the Bellandur Lake Group under Whitefield Rising pointed out that apartments that are not mandated to install STPs (those with less than 20 units) let out raw sewage “which authorities should ensure goes to STPs and not to the lakes.“
A typical STP does not remove nitrates and phosphates which kill the lake by causing algae and hyacinth growth, said Nagesh Aras, a sewage treatment expert. “Nitrates and phosphates can be removed by bioremediation by way of wetlands.“
The Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority is working on developing wetlands for the Bellandur lake. “We are identifying the area, designs and estimates. By next week, the estimation should be ready ,“ Authority chief executive G Vidyasagar said.