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Bangalore lake fire ignites debate over pollution

A toxic white froth covers Bellandur Lake in Bangalore, India. Last month, the lake caught fire. (Kannan B/flickr/cc)

When its largest lake recently caught fire, the inferno was a wakeup call for Bangalore. The conflagration is blamed on phosphorous and other combustible pollutants dumped into the water by factories and citizens, the Bangalore Mirror reports.

Bellandur Lake is notorious for a “toxic froth” resembling shaving foam that covers large portions of its surface. Last month, the froth ignited, possibly due to a spark from a cigarette or other burning material, the article says. The lake also has been fouled by detergents, oil, chemicals and untreated industrial waste.

The lack of wetlands around the lake due to overdevelopment allowed the fire to worsen, an expert from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board tells the Mirror. The Hindu reports here that government officials have known about the problem for years. But no action has been taken as regulatory agencies squabble over jurisdiction and proposed cleanups stall in bureaucratic quagmires. 

Source: 
Bangalore Mirror

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