“Thick smoke enveloped Bellandur lake after a fire broke out when garbage strewn around it was set ablaze”, a fire department official said on Friday.
The incident created 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," K U Ramesh, Deputy Director at Karnataka Fire Department, said.
"The fire was doused in half an hour. The area, for a while, was enveloped by huge clouds of smoke", he said.
Residents blamed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials for their "lackadaisical" attitude and asked them to stop dumping of garbage.
The scale of Thursday’s fire startled experts and authorities, who were not able to trace out why the fire erupted for a long time because due to inaccessibility of the spot.
Firemen were also confused on how to put off a ‘fire in the water.'
According to reports, the incident took place when a weed and dry grass was burnt in the area without proper guidance. Residents from the neighbourhood claimed that this was a regular affair.
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."
BY M. DIVYA SRI