Home / TOP STORY/ Garbage piles up in Colombo with Meethotamulla dump site shut

Garbage piles up in Colombo with Meethotamulla dump site shut


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 19 April 2017 00:00

Facebook

01A Sri Lankan child walks by piles of garbage on a street in Colombo on April 18, 2017. Hundreds of tons of rotting garbage piled up in Sri Lanka’s capital on April 18 after the main rubbish dump was shut following an accident that killed at least 30 people - AFP

 

AFP: Hundreds of tonnes of rotting garbage piled up in Sri Lanka’s capital Tuesday after the main rubbish dump was shut following an accident that killed over  30 people.

Authorities sealed the massive 300-foot (90-metre) rubbish mountain on the northeastern edge of Colombo after it collapsed Friday, destroying 145 homes nearby and burying victims in a garbage landslide. Military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said hundreds of troops were still searching for six people missing since the accident, but authorities were not hopeful of finding any survivors four days on.

The Colombo Municipal Council was scrambling for new locations to dump the roughly 800 tonnes of garbage produced every day in the capital, as crows and stray dogs picked through bags of reeking garbage left on city streets.

The council sought permission Tuesday from a local magistrate to access another tip outside the city limits, promising it would clear the four-day backlog of trash within 24 hours.

“We are finding new locations. By noon Wednesday I am hopeful of restoring normality in clearing the garbage,” Commissioner V.K. A. Anura told AFP.

“We will not dump it all in one location, but at several sites.”

The death toll from Friday’s accident climbed to 30 on Tuesday as another victim was found, Seneviratne said.

“We are still carrying out clearing of damaged homes,” he told AFP.

Officials said 1,700 people living near the tip had been relocated to temporary shelters while the government searched for alternative accommodation.

A night of heavy rain, followed by an outbreak of fire, destabilised the 23 million-ton garbage heap, causing its collapse as Sri Lankans celebrated the traditional new year.

Parliament had been warned the vast tip posed a serious health hazard, and that a long-term solution was needed to dispose of Colombo’s trash.

Disaster management minister Anura Yapa said the loss of life could have been avoided had local residents acted on warnings to move, issued as recently as a fortnight ago.

But activists have complained that ad hoc compensation and relocation was not the answer to a festering problem that politicians have been unable to resolve for years.

 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

We need to challenge climate change doubters before it is too late

Friday, 23 August 2019

Imagine a London where the entire subterranean region is engulfed with dirty water. Crammed train carriages that once barrelled along 249 miles of track transporting busy office workers, builders, teachers, civil servants, cleaners and students now r


The Provincial Council Elections – The charade goes on

Friday, 23 August 2019

Originally the SLPP was keen to hold the Provincial Council Elections (PCE) immediately after the Local Government Election results as they felt the PCE would go in their favour. PCE were held under the Proportional Representation system. The relevan


The presidency and the dilemma of the Presidential Election

Friday, 23 August 2019

J.R. Jayewardene created a presidential system not because the parliamentary system of governance that preceded it had failed. He wanted to take over all the powers of the State and assume the status of ancient kings who ruled the country in the past


Enough power in the presidency for the right person

Friday, 23 August 2019

The presidency has not much power some say, but I would say there is plenty for the right person. By intention or otherwise, our Constitution leaves the presidency to be defined by the person occupying the chair. Maithripala Sirisena (MS) showed us t


Columnists More

Special Report

SPECIAL REPORT MORE