15 June 2016 Current Affairs: The Union Government has approved a series of measures for the abatement of pollution and for the conservation and preservation of lakes in Bengaluru on 14 June 2016.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting jointly chaired by Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Ananth Kumar and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar.
Under the decision, all Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) of the city will be monitored online 24x7. Apart from this, lake water quality will be monitored by concerned authorities in Bengaluru.
Some actions that have been agreed upon include : Bio-development of lakes of Bengaluru will be undertaken.Lakes will be restored in a bio-diverse manner in Public-Private Partnership mode. All residential group housing projects/apartments with >20 units and total build-up area of 2000 sq meter will have to install Sewage Treatment Plants (STP). Dual piping system to be prescribed in apartments/commercial establishments for re-use of treated sewage for various purposes.State Pollution Control Board will be monitoring the STPs on regular basis.
Retrofitting of existing STPs will be conducted to meet the revised effluent norms. Proper management of plastic waste will be carried out to ensure that it is not dumped in the lakes
Madivala Lake will be developed as a biodiversity park on the lines of Yamuna Biodiversity Park under the guidance of Karnataka Knowledge Commission.Lake Wardens will be appointed for involvement of public in lake conservation. The corporate sector will be involved in the effort to conserve and preserve the lakes and the progress will be monitored every six months. CSR funds to be tapped for conserving and developing lakes.
The pollution of lakes in Bengaluru due to discharge of untreated sewage generated in the city has become a major environment problem in last few years. For instance, in May 2015, Bellandur Lake, the largest lake of Bengaluru, and Varthur Lake had caught fire due to formation of foam on water. This formation of foam was caused by discharge of industrial effluents like phosphorus present in detergents.As a result, water of these lakes has become harmful for domestic and irrigation purposes and it may also contaminate groundwater. It also suggested that the foam may cause an environmental problem and can be a great threat for the wetlands of Bengaluru.
Steps taken to deal with Untreated Sewage : In order to deal with this, it is to be ensured that untreated sewage is not released in the lakes. To bridge the gap between sewage generation and treatment, several STPs are being developed in the city. The STPs under development by Bengaluru Water Supply & Sewerage Board include
a.336 mld STP capacity to be completed by December 2018
b.515 mld STP capacity to be completed by December 2019
c.189 mld STP capacity to be completed by December 2020
At present, the installed treatment capacity is 721 mld (with quantity of sewage treated in these STPs is only 600 mld). But with the completion of these three STPs by 2020, the STP capacity will grow up to 1761 mld which will be available for treating the entire sewage generated in the city.
Projects totaling to 887.97 crore rupees relating to sewerage system and STPs in Bengaluru have been approved/initiated under AMRUT programme of Union Ministry of Urban Development. Apart from other benefits, these projects will help in rejuvenating lakes in Bengaluru by reducing the pollution load being discharged into them.