Unholy mess near holy places


The garbage outside Gethsemane Gospel Church during one of the services on Sunday. This not only affects the Church but also the Buddhist Temple, which is also situated in the vicinity, as people find it difficult to park vehicles or walk on the road. (Pic. by Gamini Munasinghe)

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The garbage strewn on the side of the road below the Kelani Bridge, which is a short cut from Thotalanga to Mattakkuliya, is an eyesore to the devotees of the Buddhist Temple and the Gethsemane Gospel Church situated in Colombo 15.

Residents in the area said that the road was not only used by vehicles which drive via Thotalanga to Mattakkuliya but was also used by devotees to the temple and the parishioners of the church who were forced to bear the stench from garbage which littered their path.

On Sundays the situation is worse, the residents said as the church had three services. The three are attended by about a thousand people. "They are in their Sunday best and are forced to step over the garbage in order to reach the place of worship. The stench was also unbearable. The area should be clean as there are two main places of worship," they said.

The people in the area said that the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) authorities had been informed of the situation over two months back and the Council had placed a large garbage bin for the use of the public. The CMC also took steps to place a sign asking people not to litter the area.

 However, the bin and the sign both disappeared within a few days. A complaint was lodged with the police but to no avail. As a result people have started littering the road again.

The Mayor’s office, when contacted, said they were doing everything possible to bring the situation under control. "The Council has lost three garbage bins from the area already," a spokesperson for the Mayor’s office said.

She said however that it was not the only place where garbage bins were stolen.  

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