As protests erupt over the choice of location to dump garbage from Colombo, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the government would no longer indulge in discussions or criticism on the subject of garbage but will take swift action, despite the agitations.
“We have identified a few areas to set up a sanitary landfill for Colombo’s waste. This would take up to a month to be ready and in the meantime, we are looking to Karadiyana and Dompe as a temporary solution,”he said. The Minister was addressing a media briefing at the SLFP Headquarters yesterday. “Given the numerous protests by residents of Karadiyana and Dompe, Minister Yapa said the government would not be immediately informing the people of the new locations,” he said. “We are not looking to create another Bloemendhal or Meethotumulla.Open dumps are not what we will create. The government will prepare sanitary landfills with the aid of the latest technology,”Minister Yapa said.
The Minister who was one time Minister of Environment explained that the issue of garbage could not be resolved due to opposition from various politicians and other pressure groups every time a proposal was brought to deal with it. Western Provincial Council Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya reiterated the Minister’s stance and explained that it was the failure to create the Meepe sanitary landfill site which resulted in the Meethotumulla tragedy.
“There have been 25 mountains of garbage which have been created around the Western Province because we could not implement Meepe,”Devapriya said.
The Chief Minister also complained that successive programmes brought forward by the Provincial Council failed due to authorities in the central government not granting approval on time. “I have asked the Cabinet, the President and the Prime Minister to let us do our work. We are very interested in such programmes.All that is needed is for them to clear the path for us,” he said. He added that in the next three years, if the projects of turning garbage into electricity are implemented in Muthurajawela and Karadiyana, the Western province will have no garbage issue to speak of.