Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has urged the government to impose stern laws against dumping garbage at environmentally unstable locations in the country.
Joining the Adjournment Motion moved by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan on the issue of garbage disposal and the Meethotamulla incident, he stated that the government had declared garbage disposal an essential service as it had become a serious issue in the country. The collapse at Meethotamulla was a deep seated collapse. Around 3 million tons of garbage had been dumped at this marshy land called Pothuvil Kumbura now known as Meethotamulla garbage dump, since 1989.
He went on that the responsibility of garbage disposal comes under the Colombo Municipal Council(CMC). There are around 70 engineers to manage that task. But when Meethotamulla is considered, not a single measure had been taken to rehabilitate the dump. CMC did not heed to the warnings made in 2015 and 2016 by the Urban Development Authority(UDA). Not only the garbage of Colombo is dumped at Meethotamulla, but garbage of Kaduwela, Wattala, Biyagama, Kotte, etc. It became clear only when Kaduwela, Wattala, Biyagama and Kotte faced severe problems of dumping their garbage following the collapse at Meethotamulla."
He added that Meethotamulla garbage dump would be rehabilitated within the next six months. It would be brought to a level that would not collapse. So garbage management should be brought under a Central Garbage Management Authority, bringing the garbage management across the country. Japan has reduced garbage dumping to one sixth by commencing garbage management at house level. We should have a different mechanism to dispose electronic wastes and clinical waste. We should not add them to Meethotamulla or any other dumps of garbage as it could cause serious health hazards.