By Saman Indrajith
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that courts issuing orders banning garbage disposal would lead to further spread of disease such as dengue and deaths of patients.
Responding to a question raised by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, the Prime Minister said that there was no proper place to dump garbage collected in cities. That was the main cause of garbage problem. “We are planning to find a permanent solution to this problem. We are planning to dispose of garbage at the provincial level. We have taken steps to import nine machines to manufacture compost fertilizer and they will be distributed among nine provinces. We have also commenced 25 projects to recycle garbage. We are also planning to purchase 100 vehicles and obtain 150 more vehicles with Korean assistance, to transport garbage.
“The Rajapaksa regime left behind not only a mountain of loans but also a mountain of garbage. We will not run away from this problem unlike the Rajapaksa government. We will not leave the loan problem and the garbage problem to the next generation. Today, the garbage mountain is not there.
We are currently transporting garbage to Dompe, Karadiyana and Muturajawela. There are some problems reported with regard to dumping garbage at Muturajawela. The court has suspended disposing garbage at Karadiyana and Muturajawela. We will take action to make Colombo a clean city. There are no problems with regard to garbage disposing in Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia and Kotte. The problem exists in Colombo, Kolonnawa, Kaduwela, Biyagama and Kelaniya.
“If the courts continue to issue orders against garbage disposal then there will be heaps of garbage all over the city. Garbage removal is an essential service. How can a court give an order against the continuation of an essential service? The courts are duty bound to summon all parties concerned and listen to them before giving orders. This is a serious problem. People are dying of dengue. If the courts continue to issue orders of this nature, there will be more deaths and spread of diseases. The army, police and local bodies are ready to handle garbage. The courts should act accordingly.