The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on Thursday told the High Court of Karnataka that there was only a marginal change in pollution level of water in Bellandur and Varthur lakes, and Vrushabhavathi river, and the quality of water has not improved, except at Hampapura village as per water analysis done during COVID-19 lockdown period.

“It is true that due to COVID-19, non-essential industrial activities are closed, and even working population is out of town. The volumetric load is considerably reduced, resulting in lean flow. The water quality of lake reveals that there is marginal change in the parameter concentration,” the KSPCB said in its statements.

Pointing out that water samples were collected and analyzed at 26 stations all along the Vrushabhavathi valley before and during the COVID-19 lockdown period, the KSPCB said that the reports of analysis reveal that the quality of water has not improved except at Hampapura village.

The statements were made before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty during the hearing of a PIL petition filed by Geetha Misra. The petitioner had sought directions to authorities to ensure that these water bodies, which witnessed lesser pollution during lockdown, are maintained properly by the authorities.

Meanwhile, the Bench directed the KSPCB to clarify whether the National Green Tribunal-appointed committee has jurisdiction or power to inspect apartments and industrial units in Bellandur and Varthur lake area and whether the committee has taken any steps to stop illegal discharge of effluents.

On construction of bund in Bellandur lake area by the Bangalore Development Authority, the Bench asked the BDA to clarify whether the appointed committee had authorised construction or opinion of any expert was taken before commencing the work.

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