Authorities say payment has commenced for Meethotamulla evacuees

Authorities say payment has commenced for Meethotamulla evacuees

Written by Keshala Dias

24 Apr, 2017 | 9:08 pm

Eleven days have passed since the collapse at the Meethotamulla garbage dump.

While the Sri Lanka Army is continuing to spearhead the clean-up operation at the scene of the tragedy, preventive action has been taken to prevent another collapse at the garbage dump.

The refurbishment of a Paddy Marketing Board storage facility, intended to provide shelter to people displaced by the Meethotamulla tragedy, continued today, April 24.

The complex which is being renovated to be fit for human habitation will accommodate twenty-six families under the first phase and fifty families under the second phase.

Colombo District Secretary Sunil Kannangara says the payment of an allowance of Rs. 50,000 for people leaving the danger zone in Meethotamulla, commenced today, April 24.

The District Secretary noted that the allowance would be paid until they are provided with permanent homes.

Meanwhile, commenting on the issue Kannangara Sunil Kannangara, Colombo District Secretary) said: [quote]“There are about 300 homes which have to be removed from this area. We are taking steps to pay compensation on the estimated value of the land, homes and contents. People who have lost all their domestic appliances will be paid a sum of Rs. 250,000. The government will also provide flats for those who are willing to move there. We are hoping to complete the entire process by July 01st”.[/quote]

The Western Province Ministry of Education says steps have been taken to enroll students from Rahula College in Kolonnawa to Terrence N De. Silva College.

Provincial Education Minister Ranjith Somawansa said the hundred students, teachers and the school principal would be transferred to Terrence N De. Silva College.

Meanwhile, former Mayor of Kolonnawa Ravindra Udayashantha, convened a media briefing with the participation of several residents of the area.

Ravindra Udayashantha (Former Mayor – Kolonnawa): [quote]“These demonstrations were spearheaded by an environmentalist from the Frontline Socialist Party and the individual known as Nuwan Bopage, who are from fascist political parties. They hid behind the people and staged demonstrations preventing the government from implementing any projects here. Failing to comprehend the severity of the situation, they are continuing to protest saying that they will not allow this garbage dump to be moved anywhere. I accuse the government as well, because this destruction came about as a result of the government failing to take action in fear of the protests”.[/quote]

Voice of the residents..

[quote]“The President and the Prime Minister acted swiftly in this matter. There have been many tragedies in Sri Lanka, but I believe this is the quickest action we have seen. We have been given new homes”.[/quote]

[quote]“No one came to us when our homes collapsed. When they were marking the homes, these people formed an organisation and prevented any project from being implemented by protesting against the government, using the people of Dahampura”.[/quote]

 

Newsfirst made inquiries from Nuwan Bopage, the Chairman of the People’s Movement Against the Kolonnawa Garbage Dump.

Nuwan Bopage: [quote]“The people of Kolonnawa know how the local politicians used the garbage dump to earn money for themselves. The Mayors children and the children of some of the Councilors are students at international schools and when Rahula College was closed down none of them spoke up because they needed the garbage dump. They make the money they need to send their children to international schools, through this garbage dump. I disregard this statement with contempt. The people have already responded to these politicians”.[/quote]

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