Megapolis Ministry washes hands off garbage dilemma

Published : 9:29 am  July 4, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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In a surprising twist, the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry washed its hands off the garbage issue plaguing the 
Western Province.   

Issuing a statement, the ministry said it was not responsible for garbage disposal within the province, and that the sole responsibility of this issue was borne by Western Province Chief Minister 
Isura Devapriya. 

It further stated that several news items published in the media were of the view that the ministry and subject Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka were responsible for the garbage issue. 

“The minister says he has not been given such responsibility. However, the responsibility of recycling the waste collected at the Meethotamulla garbage dump was given to the ministry and is continuing successfully. The ministry will take legal action against those who dump garbage in its properties without permission,” the statement said.

Referring to the garbage dumping site in Muthurajawela, the ministry clarified that the land was not owned by it or any institution that came under its purview. “The ministry would like to state that the land is a private property.”  The statement concluded that the responsibility of dumping and recycling garbage in the Western Province was given to Provincial Chief Minister Isura Devapriya. It follows the confusion of the general public as to which ministry or institution is responsible for garbage. 

However, the statement made no note of the Metro Colombo Solid Waste Management Project (MCSWMP) introduced by the ministry late last month. 

Unveiling the MCSWMP, the minister said the project aimed at resolving the garbage issue through sanitary landfills. 
Speaking to the media, Minister Ranawaka said Cabinet approval had been granted for the USD 125 million project which would transport solid waste treated and compressed into blocks in Kelaniya to Aruwakkalu in Puttalam. 

“We will establish a long-term sustainable solid waste management system that is socially acceptable, environmentally friendly and economically feasible,” said a news item published in the Daily Mirror quoting Minister Ranawaka at the event. 

The project was set to develop worked-out limestone quarries in Aruwakkalu into a sanitary landfill to dispose solid waste generated in Colombo with waste transfer, using rail transportation from Colombo to the proposed sanitary landfill. Solid waste collected from the Colombo metropolitan area, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia MC, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte MC and Kolonnawa UC was to be used for disposal at the initial stage of the project with the project expanding to cover other municipalities and cities over time. 

“I expect the support and cooperation of the public, all political parties and relevant officials for the success of this project. The political forces have aggravated the problem as politicians of all parties have used this problem for their political agendas. If you produce solid waste, you have no right to oppose the manner in which a local government body disposes garbage,” Minister Ranawaka said at the event last month.