Chief Minister of the Western Province, Isura Devapriya has accused the Government of omitting the Western Provincial Council (WPC) in its plans to address the garbage menace in the city and criticized its move to shift it from Kolonnawa to Ekala.
The move to shift the garbage dump to Ekala continues to face opposition from residents of the area who have also received the support from Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.
The move is spearheaded by the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government led by Minister Faiszer Musthapha. This follows a Supreme Court ruling ordering the garbage in Kolonnawa to be removed.
Devapriya said that they were not involved in the move and not been consulted in this regard and had never consented to it.
He added that the Western Provincial Council was being denied playing their part in the garbage solution due to pettiness on the part of the authorities.
“A company from the United Kingdom is ready to invest and take the garbage away from us and clear the land. They will either clean the garbage and take it back to the UK or produce fertilizer or energy from it,” he pointed out.
“We want to rid the land of garbage. Our solution does not even cost the country one rupee”.
When queried which Ministry was responsible for this, Devapriya claimed that he did not know while adding that rightfully it should come under the purview of the Minister-in-Charge of the subject of the WPC.
Musthapha and the Ministry Secretary HT Kamal Pathmasiri were not available for comment.
However, Media Secretary to the Minister, Amila Balasuriya said that a high-level committee comprising the Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, the Secretary of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the Secretary of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment and the Chief Secretary of the Western Provincial Council had been appointed to seek public opinion, expert advice and come up with a solution or solutions to the problem.
“During the past six months when Musthapha last visited the garbage dump in Kolonnawa, he expressed that it should be removed. Subsequently, the high-level committee with the involvement of Pathmasiri was appointed at Ministry level,” Balasuriya said.
Municipal Commissioner and Officer Implementing the Powers and Function of the CMC, V.K.A. Anura was not available for a comment.