US$ 100m project to solve Colombo’s garbage issue

By Damith Wickremasekara

The Megapolis and Western Development Ministry will seek cabinet approval next week to award a US$ 100 million (Rs 15 billion) contract for a major solid waste management system at Aruwakkalu in Puttalam as a solution to Colombo’s chronic garbage disposal problem. The project is being introduced as a solution to the waste disposal issues mainly in the Western Province.

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka told the Sunday Times that two companies from China and South Korea had been short-listed for the contract and the selected company would be required to complete the project in 18 months. He said two Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports had been obtained from the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) and the North Western Provincial Council to ensure there were no environmental issues arising from the project.

“The garbage will be transported by train in specially sealed wagons from a location in Kelaniya to the Aruwakkalu site. The operation will begin 10 months after the project is launched,” he said. The minister said in the event of a delay in getting the wagons to transport by rail, they would obtain sealed containers to transport the garbage by road. “We will have a capacity to transport 600 Mt of garbage leading upto 1,200 Mt, a day thereby providing a solution to the garbage crisis in the Western Province,” he said.

The ministry’s Solid Waste Management Director Jayavilal Fernando said that under the project they would be filling the abandoned quarries from where limestone had been extracted for the production of cement in Aruwakkalu. He said the water seeping out of the garbage would be taken and purified before using it for the trees in the area. He said regular monitoring of the water quality would be carried out in the area. Mr Fernando said the solution was considered a long-term solution for the garbage issue.

Courtesy : Sunday times

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