UPFA won’t play politics with garbage issue - WimalOctober 18, 2012, 10:47 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando
National Freedom Front (NFF) leader and Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said that the government wouldn’t play politics when addressing problems faced by people.
The minister cited the government and the UNP-run Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) working closely to tackle the crisis caused by some 165 families being forced to leave their dwellings due to the Meethotamulla garbage mountain sinking. Due to the massive pressure caused by the sinking garbage mountain many houses adjacent to the site had been damaged, the minister said.
Addressing the affected, at the auditorium of the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretariat, the Colombo District MP said the government swiftly stepped in, though the CMC was in charge of the operation.
The SLFP-led UPFA failed to secure the CMC at the Oct. 8, 2011 Local Government polls, though all UPFA heavyweights campaigned in Colombo.
Minister Weerawansa pointed out that the government didn’t turn a blind eye citing the responsibility on the part of the CMC in causing the problem. The Urban Development Authority (UDA) would work in unison with the CMC to provide permanent housing units for those forced to leave their houses, the minister said. Having discussed ways and means of resolving the crisis, the CMC had agreed to pay a Rs. 10,000 monthly housing rent to the affected for two years, the minister said. According to him, three months advance would be paid by the CMC shortly.
The minister revealed that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa would attend a special meeting on Monday (22) to decide on the housing project.
Senior DIG Anura Senanayake urged the affected families to abandon their houses adjacent to the garbage mountain within a week. The official also warned that there was a possibility of more families being affected
Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil said that he had obtained the approval of the CMC to pay the monthly rent of those compelled to leave their dwellings. Muzammil said that he was confident the garbage issue could be handled jointly by the government and the CWC. The UNPer appreciated the UPFA’s swift response to the garbage crisis. Muzammil said that he was grateful for the support given by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as well as all ministers.
The UDA was exploring the possibility of sharing the cost of the proposed housing project with the CMC.
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Last Updated May 20 2013 | 06:12 pm