Will make Bengaluru plastic-free, protect lakes: Deputy CM

[] The Karnataka government has said that it will make Bengaluru plastic-free and take steps on a ‘war footing’, to protect the lakes from pollution

Karnataka’s deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, on June 18, 2018, said that the government would take effective and strict measures, to make Bengaluru free from plastic. Parameshwara, who is the minister-in-charge for Bengaluru city related subjects, also said work would be taken up on a ‘war footing’, to protect the city’s lakes from pollution and clear those that are already polluted.

“Legislators suggested a plastic ban, to make Bengaluru plastic-free. Efforts are on for it. All effective and strict measures will be taken, to make city plastic-free,” he said. The deputy chief minister chaired an over six-hour-long meeting with MLAs and parliamentarians of Bengaluru, along with officers, the mayor and deputy mayor, to discuss and take suggestions on city issues.

He noted that most lakes in Bengaluru were getting polluted, a few have reached an ‘irreparable’ stage and others were beginning to get polluted. “To see to that lakes in Bengaluru do not get polluted further and those that are polluted are cleared, we have decided to take up work on a war footing,” he said. The meeting discussed garbage clearance, he said, adding, there was a proposal to convert waste to energy. “There is already a proposal for two waste to energy units. I will soon clear it on behalf of the government. At a later stage, it will be set up in all six garbage processing units around the city. This will, in a way, solve the garbage issue,” he added.

Also discussed was flooding during rainy seasons and measures to be taken in this regard to find a permanent solution, Parameshwara said. Potholes and damaged roads need to be fixed permanently and the chief engineers of the eight zones of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city civic body, will be made responsible for this. Also discussed was traffic management and coordination between the BBMP and traffic police, along with parking and measures to be taken, to regulate parking in the central city area.

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The deputy chief minister said issues related to water supply to Bengaluru city, from the Cauvery river, also came up during the meeting. “The quantum of Cauvery water, which we are allowed to use, we have almost reached,” he said. The minister said the fifth stage of supplying Cauvery water has to be taken up and alternatives, like bringing water from Yettinahole and impounding it to Tippagondanahalli reservoir that earlier used to supply water to Bengaluru city, are also being thought of, he said. Parameshwara said there was also a plan to bring water from Linganamakkito to Bengaluru and technical experts had been asked to come out with a draft project report. “A feasibility study has to be made. It is still in a conceptual stage,” he added.

Parameshwara said he has also cleared the BBMP’s budget of over Rs 10,000 crores, for this year. He pointed out that earlier 110 villages around the city were brought under the BBMP limits, but not enough development work has happened there and added that a ‘special package’ would be unveiled, for the development of these villages.

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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