Policy Planners and Public at loggerheads due to CONFLICTINg opinions

Published : 11:07 am  December 13, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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  • About 700 tons of garbage is collected from Colombo each day and if we  are to add the garbage collected from areas such as Mount Lavinia,  Moratuwa, Maharagama and Wattala the volume of garbage collected a day  would add up to at least to 1500 tons, which was initially dumped in  areas such as Blomandhal and Karadiyana.
  • Director of the Western Province Waste Management Authority Nalin  Mannaperuma also speaking to the Daily mirror  on a previous occasion  said the province was projected to generate an additional 1,000 metric  tons of garbage in the near future, while the country is projected to  generate 10,000 metric tons 2030. 
  • Atleast 6,000 metric tons of garbage were collected across the  country each day, 3,500 metric tons of which is collected from the  Western Province alone. The province held 33 percent of the population  of the country and the high population lead to the large amount of  garbage generated.

 

 

Text & Pics By Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe   

When most of the developed countries are considering garbage as a resource and deriving an income from it, our country is engaged in collecting garbage all over the country and later these heaps are buried underground causing danger to the environment, animals and humans. Many environmentalists and those involved in social development have raised their voices on this issue.   


Presently there are many issues relating to garbage in the Colombo Metropolitan area. This issue had taken a toll of many human lives over the past several decades. Sri Lanka had also been categorized among many other countries where humans became victims of collapse of garbage dumps. While this was so there were many politicos who had made fortunes out the garbage dumpings.   


When the residents of Puttalam rose against the setting up of a coal power plant it ended with the loss of a human life and caused disabilities to several others. They still have gruesome memories of this incident. It has been now proved the mass scale destruction it has caused the environment and the way of life of many. With the proposed garbage dumping in Aruwakkadu the residents who underwent much misery and despair during the early occasions had again grouped together in launching a protest to voice their anger against this move.   


With the change of plans from the original the construction is now proceeding 200 meters away from Serakkuliya lagoon. The residents of Puttalam, Kalpitiya, Wanathawilluwa and Serakkuliya had participated at this joint protest. It is noteworthy that Muslim women of these areas also taking part in the protest. It was also noted that several politicians of the area including UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara, Sanath Nishantha Perera and Arundika Fernando of SLPP were among the protestors.   


Expressing their views they said that their objections were not made on political basis but on Environmental and Human basis. They demanded to know what the reason was for the shifting of the site from its former location. They said that this was a move to destroy the Serakkuliya Lagoon.   


Many fishermen of the area stressed that at the commencement of this project, they were assured that all steps would be taken to protect the environment with state of the art technology and even the waste water would be taken care of, but observing the ongoing work they have no faith that adequate measures would be taken to counter any issues later.   


A Sathyagraha campaign is continuing for the 40th day with the participation of the professionals, and politicians. 

 
The previous cabinet approved the proposal to set aside Rs. 989 million to establish the sanitary land fill and compost site.   


The project was to provide necessary infrastructure facilities for waste disposal projects which were being set up in the district. The cabinet paper at the time stated that regulations and infrastructure for large scale waste disposal projects should be set up at a district level.   


Speaking of the project on a previous occasion, former Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka admitted that residents in the area were against the project.   


“People in Puttalam are against bringing garbage from Colombo to their area as they say the environment in Wilpattu will be destroyed by it. Those in Kelaniya, where the train for the project will be established are also against it,” he said.   


The Minister went on to say that the issue with garbage was that the volume generated would only increase in the years to come, due to the rapid urbanization of Colombo and its suburbs.   


“About 700 tons of garbage is collected from Colombo each day and if we are to add the garbage collected from areas such as Mount Lavinia, Moratuwa, Maharagama and Wattala the volume of garbage collected a day would add up to at least to 1500 tons, which was initially dumped in areas such as Blomandhal and Karadiyana,” he said.   


“Even the Wildlife Department was initially against the project as they said the landfill was too close to the Wilpattu reserve. However, we have changed the location of the project and spoken to the relevant stakeholders,” Ranawaka said.   


Energy plants operated by waste materials are to be constructed in Karadiyana, Muthurajawela and Gampaha in the western province. The plants will be connected to the national grid and supply atleast 10 Mega watts of power each for atleast 20 years, officials said.   


Agreements are also being drawn up to deliver collected garbage directly to the plants for the incineration. While, the plants are being constructed waste collected in Colombo and other areas will be sent to the sanitary landfills.   
Atleast 6,000 metric tons of garbage were collected across the country each day, 3,500 metric tons of which is collected from the Western Province alone. The province held 33 percent of the population of the country and the high population lead to the large amount of garbage generated.   


Director of the Western Province Waste Management Authority Nalin Mannaperuma also speaking to the Daily Mirror on a previous occasion said the province was projected to generate an additional 1,000 metric tons of garbage in the near future, while the country is projected to generate 10,000 metric tons 2030.

 

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