Bellandur Lake in Bangalore caught fire on Saturday due to froth released by nearby garment factories that accumulated for over two weeks covering one side of the lake.
Though the strange phenomenon lasted for 5 minutes, it is raising eye-brows in the tech city’s posh area neighbourhood and that too in the largest lake of the city that is awaiting sewerage plants and debris clearing for over a year.
Pullution control body’s Bommanahalli in-charge Siddaramaiah said they were puzzled by the phenomenon that could have been caused by methane gas generated by microbes in the lake. “The flammable gas had accumulated in the lake and had apparently combusted. This is the first time we are hearing of this in the city,” he explained.
For long sewage has been flowing into the lake and there is a long-term plan to construct treatment plants and clean the debris in the lake but catching fire on the lake body is what causes worry to the resident colonies, which include posh HSR Colony on one side of the lake.
While the authorities are removing encroachments on lake beds, includeing the Bellandur Lakebed, the next challenge will be to stop the nearby garment factories from releasing the detergent and chemicals used in washing the jean garments.
Another reason for accumulation of the froth on the lake was blocking of one canal outlet from the lake to construct a bridge that could have piled up the waste released into the lake. Another canal measuring 64-feet was encroached upon and was cleared last week by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
Pending the construction of two treatment plants in the lake, there is no solution in the near future to stem the waste accumulating and generating methane that could trigger fire again, say officials.