Sewage Pollution Sparks Fish Deaths in Bengaluru Lakes: NGT Issues Notices to Authorities

New Delhi, India – The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken a significant step by issuing notices to various government agencies in Bengaluru, India, in response to the alarming number of fish deaths occurring in the city’s lakes. The tribunal, led by chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava, has expressed concern over reports of numerous fish kill incidents in Bengaluru’s lakes, prompting action from the authorities.

According to media reports, Bengaluru has experienced a staggering 61 fish kill incidents between 2017 and 2023. The NGT’s detailed analysis has identified four lakes, including Bhattarahalli, Munnekolala, Chelekere, and Iblur lakes, with frequent fish kill occurrences during this period, despite having sewage treatment plants (STPs). The tribunal has specifically linked sewage as the primary cause of the fish kills, highlighting the urgency of addressing water quality issues in these lakes.

In 2023 alone, Bengaluru witnessed 20 episodes of fish kills in 15 different water bodies, with multiple incidents reported at lakes such as Kothanur, Kundalahalli, and Bhattarahalli. Water quality assessments conducted by the NGT have consistently pointed towards untreated sewage as the key factor behind these tragic events. The proximity of these lakes to villages without underground sewage connections further exacerbates the environmental challenges faced by the region.

The NGT’s actions underscore the pressing need for stricter adherence to environmental regulations and the more effective implementation of enforcement measures in Bengaluru. Notices have also been directed towards the principal secretary of the Department of Fisheries and the deputy commissioner and district magistrate of Bengaluru, signaling a comprehensive approach by the tribunal to address the root causes of the fish kills.

To further investigate these environmental issues, the NGT has transferred the matter to the Southern Zonal Bench, with a hearing scheduled for July 26. This move signifies the tribunal’s commitment to holding accountable those responsible for the deteriorating conditions of Bengaluru’s lakes, emphasizing the importance of sustainable environmental practices in safeguarding aquatic ecosystems.