Colombo’s garbage mounds cleared - Champika

Colombo has been cleared of all its festering garbage mounds, declared the Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday.

According to the Minister, the three-day program carried out last week to rid the city of its growing trash heaps, following the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump, has been completed successfully.

“There are no piles of trash in Colombo now,” claimed Minister Ranawaka adding that around 3,000 metric tons of garbage was cleared within the past three days.

Pointing out that the issue may have contributed to the ongoing dengue epidemic, the President had advised him to act with utmost urgency to resolve the problem, he said.

While claiming that the streets of Colombo are back to their previous cleanliness, the Minister also warned of strict action against those dumping garbage in an improper manner. In fact over 1,500 people have been nabbed by the Police for dumping trash indiscriminately within the city.

“Strict action will be taken not only against the members of public but also against CMC staff if they do not carry out their duties in this regard,” he said.

The three-day joint program was conducted with the assistance of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Private organizations, the Police Environment Division and the Sri Lanka Army.

Minister Champika Ranawaka had been tasked with the responsibility of resolving the garbage issue within the city in a recent decision taken by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Minister Ranawaka also clarified that the program is a temporary solution to the growing garbage problem.

“We have commenced several waste to energy projects which will be completed soon,” he said, adding that a main garbage dump will be installed in Aruwakkaru in Puttalam.

The Minister who charged that certain individuals were attempting to politicize the garbage issue, requested the public to refrain from protesting against the Government’s efforts to provide a lasting solution to the problem.

“Do not use these issues to conduct politically motivated protests,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile the authorities are also now working towards introducing new policies for better waste management, while also improving the public complaints hotline of the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government.

The Minister pledged better support and resources for Local Government authorities to combat the growing garbage issue. 

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