Parliamentary panel visits Varthur, Bellandur lakes

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Bellandur lakes

BENGALURU: After reports of froth and fire in Varthur and Bellandur lakes, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development visited both the lakes on Tuesday.

Pinaki Misra, head of the committee, was handed over a petition by citizen group Whitefield Rising demanding action with special emphasis on banning phosphorus in detergents.

He said, “It is unfortunate to see the state of affairs of this iconic city. We will work with the state government to come up with time-bound solutions. The National Green Tribunal orders have to be implemented strictly. We are ready to offer any other support required by the state government.”

The standing committee directed BDA to increase the number of machines deployed in removing the weeds in Bellandur lake. The committee was accompanied by BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh and MP P C Mohan who is also a member of the committee.

A Whitefield Rising member said, “We have requested the committee to ask for the detergent industry response to an immediate cap of 2.2 per cent phosphorus and the time frame by which they can switch to zero phosphorus formulations. Similarly, we also want the committee to ask for an industry affidavit on whether their surfactants are biodegradable or not, and set a timeline to switch to full biodegradability.”
MP Mohan said, “We had a meeting where I pointed out several issues. We all agreed that the capacity of the STPs in and around Bellandur lake needs to be increased soon.”

Whitefield Rising’s other demands

Centre should propose economic incentives such as tax concessions for phosphorus-free biodegradable formulations

Eco tax on non-complying ones

Ensure no industrial or cleaning agents escape the above requirements through alternative definitions of their products as other than detergents

Quarterly progress reports on compliance

Harmonise all BIS standards to eliminate need for phosphorus in detergents, laundry bars

Make it mandatory for STPs, new or existing, to remove phosphorus from their treated water, by a separate law, if necessary.

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