Meethotamulla garbage dump CMC pumped in huge sums of money for maintenance

Published : 12:55 am  February 13, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (196) reads | 

A little over Rs. 5 mn was shelled out by the CMC each month but the prices increased to Rs. 8 mn and then to Rs. 11 mn

 

 MB-5

 

By Nabeela Hussain   

Commenting on the recently released report of the committee appointed to investigate the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump, Colombo Municipality Commissioner stressed that any action taken by it where the dump yard was concerned was done under the supervision of professionals hired specifically to maintain the dump.   


The Presidential Commission appointed by President Sirisena and chaired by retired Court of Appeal Judge Dr. Chandradasa Nanayakkara revealed that the causes for the tragedy included the fact that the Colombo Municipality from the initial stages had not followed a proper method for the disposal of waste nor had they properly implemented the proposals suggested in this regard.   


However, when contacted by the Daily Mirror, Colombo Municipal Commissioner V. K. A. Anura said the municipality had always hired machinery to compress the waste before it was dumped at the yard. “We hired engineers to maintain the increasing garbage and it was never something that was done haphazardly at our end,” he explained.   


When questioned about the sharp increase of payments made to private companies as highlighted in the committee report, Anura said the local government body had no choice but to increase these prices as they were deemed necessary for the maintenance of the garbage mountain at the time.   

 

The bigger the garbage mountain got the more resources we needed to maintain it and this was why there was an increase in the payments made to the private companies


CITY-DM-4-12The tender for the maintenance of the garbage dump had come to an end by mid 2014, which had prompted the Colombo Municipality to call for tenders once again for the project.   


Sources in the Municipality said high ranking officials had deemed it necessary to have more vehicles to maintain the mountain at the time. “This, coupled with the increased rates the companies were asking, made sure expenses for the maintenance of the garbage dump increased thereafter,” the source said.   


Official records at the municipality state that a little over Rs. 5 million was being shelled out by the Colombo Municipality each month but the prices increased to Rs. 8 million and then to Rs. 11 million once again at the end of the year.   


“The bigger the garbage mountain got the more resources we needed to maintain it and this was why there was an increase in the payments made to the private companies,” Anura said.   

 

I was not in office at the time and was appointed only in 2015. When we looked at the decisions that were made at the time we have to agree with it. We needed more resources to maintain the mountain and the decisions taken at the time reflect this


When questioned if the increase in manpower and machinery to maintain the garbage dump was a necessity or a precaution, Anura said officials in charge of the project at the time had to make the decision. “I was not in office at the time and was appointed only in 2015. When we looked at the decisions that were made at the time we have to agree with it. We needed more resources to maintain the mountain and the decisions taken at the time reflect this,” he said.   


The garbage dump now under the purview of the Urban Development Authority (UDA), after it collapsed in April last year, is to be cleared soon. Officials said that academics from the University of Moratuwa were roped into the project. Once cleared the UDA is to construct a ground in the land that now houses the garbage mountain.   

 

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