Meetotamulla garbage issue takes new turn

Published : 10:12 am  February 17, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By T. Farook Thajudeen
A Colombo Magistrate ordered the Colombo Municipality, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to file feasibility proposals in court on February  27 stating  how the  court could find solutions to the Meetotamulla, Pothuwil Kumbura garbage issue. The Colombo Additional Magistrate Ms. Nirosha Fernando made this direction on the Counsel  for CMC, CEA, and the UDA after considering the submissions of the Counsel for the aggrieved residents, the respondent authorities, Colombo Mayor Mohamed Muzammil and Western Power  Company Ltd who intervened in the case asserting that they had paid Rs 133 million to the UDA to start a project to recycle solid waste to produce electricity.
Counsel Nalini Fernando the legal officer of CMC appearing for the CMC told the Magistrate that Colombo city is the main business centre of the country and that the garbage collected daily was not only the garbage of the city dwellers  but also the garbage that was brought to the city by visitors to Colombo for various reasons.

A Colombo Magistrate ordered the CMC, UDA and the CEA to file feasibility proposals in court on February  27 how the  court could find solutions to the Meetotamulla, Pothuwil  Kumbura garbage issue.
The Counsel said there was no place within the city to dump garbage. She said the problem was a national one for which a solution should be found soon.  She said that  the CMC had provided alternative dwellings to some of the unauthorised dwellers of Pothuvil Kumbura and they will also provide alternative houses for  another 200 families.  The  Counsel moved court  to allow the CMC to dump garbage in the concerned area until a plan  is made.

Counsel Jeewantha Jayasinghe appearing with Olitha Amarasena and Nilantha Polgampola for the Western Power Company Ltd said their client had paid Rs 133 million to the UDA as a payment to start a garbage recycling project to produce Electricity. He said the UDA had agreed to entrust the project and his client  was  waiting until the UDA allocate a site within Pothuvil Kumbura or in an adjacent land to start the project..  He said there was a Supreme Court direction that until a suitable place is found the Municipality to dump the garbage in Pothuvil Kumbura area..

Counsel Nuwan Bopage and Sumith Kelaart appearing for the aggrieved residents of the area said that the Supreme Court had made that direction to the respondents not in this case but in a case heard before the Supreme Court against dumping of garbage in Bloemendhal Road.

The Counsel said the garbage dump had affected the residents, specially the children and infants through various   diseases and skin infections. The Counsel said there are two other proposals to shift the garbage dump from Pothuvil Kumbura to uninhabited areas in Karadiyana and Moratuwa.  They  also told that  a company had volunteered to recycle the garbage without receiving any payments for which the  UDA or the CMC had not paid any attention..
Mayor Muzammil asserted that there was a place in Puttalam where 200 tons of garbage could be transported by train daily from Colombo. The Court initiated investigations into the case after an organisation of residents led by Upul Premaratne, Nuwan Bopage and Keerthi Perera protested against dumping of garbage in “Pothuvil Kumbura “at Meethotamulla Wellampitiya who obstructed tractors that brought garbage to  the dump.
The case was filed by Wellampitiya Police  under Section 98(1) of the Public Nuisance Act.