Bengaluru's Bellandur lake catches fire, toxic smoke chokes city
The Bellandur lake is the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru.
Bengaluru: Bellandur lake in Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru caught fire at 4 pm on Thursday due to illegal dumping of debris, choking the whole city.
This was the third instance in six months. Since Bellandur Lake is highly polluted with sewage, foam covering the water surface easily catches fire.
A fire department official said on Friday that thick smoke enveloped Bellandur lake after a fire broke out when garbage strewn around it was set ablaze.
The incident triggered panic among motorists on the busy Sarjapur main road.
"Usually, a pile of garbage strewn around the lake is set on fire, but yesterday it caused a scare among residents and motorists as the smoke started billowing and surrounding the lake in the evening," KU Ramesh, Deputy Director at Karnataka Fire Department, said.
The fire was doused in half an hour, he said.
The area, for a while, was enveloped by huge clouds of smoke, he said.
Residents hit out at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials for their "lackadaisical" attitude to stop dumping of garbage.
Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairman Lakshman said notices have been issued to the BBMP, Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board and other agencies to stop the dumping. He also said the board is in the process of inspecting sewage treatment plants in the area.
The lake has been in news for the last one year for spillover of froth and toxic fumes.
The Bellandur lake is the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru. About 40 percent of the city's sewage flows into the Bellandur lake, which spreads over 891.9 acres of area. In May 2015, froth over the Bellandur lake caught fire due to the formation of flammable methane gas.
In April 2016, the central government had announced that it would invest Rs 800 crore to rejuvenate lakes in Bengaluru.
(With Agency inputs)