Protests held against dumping of garbage in Meethotamulla

Published : 9:59 am  March 7, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (513) reads | 

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By Yoshitha Perera and M.I. Edirisinghe   
The Colombo Municipality continues to dump garbage at the Meethotamulla garbage dump, despite being handed an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report that approves another land to be used as a dumping site, protestors in Meethotamulla said yesterday.   


 UNP MP S.M. Marikkar said the Colombo Municipality had received the EIA report on January 21 to make use of the new land.  
“The plan to sell garbage to a private company for recycling is a false rumour. The authorities will not do that,” he said.   


Meanwhile when contacted, the President of the Movement Against the Meethotamulla Garbage Dump, Nuwan Bopage, pointed out that it was MP Marikkar who had said the government would sell the garbage to a private company on February 28.   


“He also said the Colombo Municipality would stop dumping garbage at the site on the same day,” Bopage said.   


When the Daily Mirror questioned MP Marikkar regarding his statement, he said the government would not sell the mountain of garbage to a private company. However, a proposal to burn half of it and construct a city atop the remaining pile of garbage had been made to Parliament.   


“We submitted the proposal to Parliament but it has not been approved as yet,” he said.   


Marikkar said 8,700 families in the area were affected by the garbage dump and that they would continue to protest until the Colombo Municipality stopped dumping garbage at the Meethotamulla site.   


Meanwhile, residents took to the streets yesterday demanding that authorities immediately stop dumping the garbage collected in Colombo at the  site.   


Residents said authorities had been dumping garbage at the site for nearly 10 years, during which time the residents’ rights to fresh air and a clean environment were violated.   


The protestors set up small tents along the Colombo-Avissawella main road, vowing to protest until the authorities gave into their demands. 


The Daily Mirror was unable to contact the Colombo Municipality for a comment despite numerous attempts.
Pics by M.I. Edirisinghe