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


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

Withering of expectations and prospects of new ones

Friday, 21 February 2020

The election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President at the last Presidential Election can be said to have been the ultimate wish of the majority of Sinhala Buddhist people. Yet, the people were not aware that the President they were electing does not hav


Upsurge of populism

Friday, 21 February 2020

“Populism: denies the pluralism of contemporary societies. It promotes hostility to “enemies” and flirts with violence. It is generally gripped by a territorial mentality that prioritises borders and nation states against ‘foreigners’ and


Diplomatic drone strike, Indo-Lanka equation and constitutional change

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The ‘diplomatic drone strike’, the dramatic US strictures against the Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, tells us that Big Brother IS watching. This isn’t the usual suspects, its way out of their league. This is the Big League, the big b


Solar and wind power can resolve electricity crisis, early and cheaper, if allowed

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The country is facing the worst power situation in the history, with electricity generation being unable to meet the demand, with generation costs among the most expensive in the world. With the current scenario, the country cannot be expected to com


Columnists More