Bangalore: The government intends to give more teeth to the Lake Development Authority (LDA) in Bangalore and make it powerful. The law will soon be amended so that more responsibilities and power are vested with the Authority, Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, B Ramanath Rai said on Monday.
Addressing the gathering at the World Environment Day Karnataka State Environment Awards Conferring Ceremony 2014, he acknowledged that the LDA needed more teeth to function effectively. The Authority will be entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring every lake. There is a lack of specific programmes to ensure conservation of lakes, the minister said.
On the growing levels of pollution, Rai said the government was considering encouraging ‘clean cities’. One city in every district will be declared ‘clean city’.
However, the parameters are yet to be evolved, he said. He called upon people to act now to curb pollution. “If we think that trouble will surface only 50 years from now and hence, we need not take it seriously at the moment, we will never get to solve the problem.”
Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairman Vaman Acharya said Bangalore is not Garbage City as it is often described as. “We have a proper garbage collection mechanism. However, we are faltering when it comes to disposing the waste after dumping it in the landfill.
Taking the help of cement plants in getting rid of the residue after incinerating the garbage can be a good solution to the problem, he said.
The awards were given to Vasundhara Bhupathi, activist and author; B G Prem Kumar, high school science teacher at Government PU College, Shuntikoppa, Kodagu who has started several Eco clubs, B D Nema Gowda, Government Girls Higher Primary School, Jamakhandi, Bagalkot, who has planted 2,700 saplings and has won the Best Teacher Award.
Apart from this, three organisations were recognised for their work.
They include: Parisara Samrakshana Okkoota, Channapatna, Husuru Grama Aranya Samithi, Sirsi and Vanasiri Grameena Abhivruddhi Samsthe, Bidar.
‘Ali Baba and 40 thieves’
Terming officials of Forest Department on deputation to BBMP as ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,’ Mayor B S Satyanarayana said BBMP could do without these personnel as “nobody knew what work they were accomplishing”. Forty officials from Forest department have been deputed to BBMP. Sharing dais with Ramanath Rai, the Mayor commented on the officials’ work, saying that they were recklessly permitting tree felling in Bangalore. The mayor did not specify who he referred to as ‘Ali Baba’.
Calling them White Elephants, the Mayor said they could do with one official in the place of 40 and requested the Forest minister to take these officials back to his department.
Reacting to the Mayor’s sharp comments, Rai said if there was any problem with officials on deputation, the Mayor could write an official letter to him, instead of announcing it in a non-political function.