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Bellandur Lake Fire: Javadekar Hints at Banning Phosphates in Detergents

The Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Shri Prakash Javadekar briefing the press on the meeting of the Environment Ministers of National Capital Region, (NCR), in New Delhi on April 13, 2015.(PIB)

Filephoto: The Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Shri Prakash Javadekar briefing the press on the meeting of the Environment Ministers of National Capital Region, (NCR), in New Delhi on April 13, 2015.(PIB)

When Bellandur lake with froth made news two years ago, there were expert missions which visited the scene and submitted their report. Again two years ago when the waste from garment units mixed into the lake and caught fire due to methane generated inside, the local IISc scientists visited and submitted their report.

The outcome remained lukewarm from the local civic body to the state government to the Union government. Reacting to it though belated, Union minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar on Thursday, during his visit to the city, said that his ministry would look into possible ban on detergents with phosphates, which, the IISc body said was behind froth and fire in lakes like Bellandur and Varthur in Bangalore.

[Also See: Fire Breaks Out in Bangalore Lake, Methane from Factory Waste Puzzles Many]

“The Indian Institute of Science has submitted 3 reports highlighting the reasons for high level of contamination of Bellandur and Varthur lakes. The reports highlight that phosphates are a major cause for pollution. I will send a related note to the department concerned to analyse the matter. Based on the feedback, we will consider banning phosphatebased detergents,” the minister assured.

Javadekar was addressing a seminar on “Climate change and mitigation” at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc and World Organisation of Students and Youth. Replying to a student’s query, the minister said, “The reports submitted by IISc also suggest that eco-friendly alternatives can be used in the manufacturing detergents.” However, he did not elaborate on alternatives suggested by the expert panel of IISc.

[ALSO SEE: Methane, Phosphate Behind Bangalore’s Bellandur Lake Fire: Experts]

The recommendations of the team led by Dr TV Ramchandra from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, that had traced the cause behind the fire from the foam in Bellandur lake to a high concentration of phosphates in detergents. It was also found that even household detergents do have phosphates. With a daily flow of 500 million litres of sewage, the lakes are becoming hazardous in the city, concluded the team.

He said local body BBMP has been given time till February to clean the highly polluted lakes in the city.”In October, the civic bodies were given a deadline of February 2016 to fix Bellandur and other polluted lakes. In February , I’ll review the steps taken,” said the minister.

See Video of lake fire:

 

 

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