Construction of sanitary landfill at Aruwakkalu to begin this month

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The construction of a sanitary landfill in Aruwakkalu will begin at the end of this month to ensure that garbage disposal in Colombo will be smooth, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, S. K. A. P. Devarajah says.

She said garbage would be transported to the site by train initially, but in 10 months the garbage would be moved by road. "The garbage issue in Colombo has been a longstanding one and the Ministry of Megapolis believes that disposing of garbage at dumping sites is no longer feasible and that is why we are looking at a long-term solution."

The idea of creating a sanitary landfill is not a recent one. In 1997 the Chandrika Bandaranaike administration attempted to create one at Meepe with World Bank aid. Another effort was made in 2007 by the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration. Both initiatives were halted due to public protests.

In 2015, there was a bid to create a sanitary landfill in Gangewadiya, with in the one-mile buffer zone of the Wilpattu National Park and after the Department of Wildlife refused to grant permission for the project Aruwakkalu was chosen.

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