Central Environmental Authority to investigate garbage dump at Katunayake free trade zone

Central Environmental Authority to investigate garbage dump at Katunayake free trade zone

Written by Staff Writer

13 Jul, 2019 | 9:31 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The Central Environmental Authority is paying attention towards the suspected mound of waste material dumped at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone.

According to the Basel Convention, waste material cannot be brought down to Sri Lanka in this manner. Customs said that although the waste material was brought down for reprocessing purposes, that Sri Lanka possesses neither the required system nor the mechanism to do so.

It is important to note that the approval of the Board of Investment should be sought to maintain a garbage dump at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone for whatever the reason it may be. However, a responsible senior official of the BOI said approval has not been given to maintain a garbage dump. The officer also assured that it is illegal to import waste material to Sri Lanka.

When News 1st inquired, the Executive Director of Project Monitoring, Director of Media and Executive Director in charge of Zones of the Board of Investment refused to provide a proper explanation in this regard. Attempts made by News 1st to contact the Chairman of the BOI Mangala Yapa proved to be futile.

What is it the authorities are trying to hide? How did this suspected dump of garbage enter the Katunayake Free Trade Zone?

Who owns it?

News 1st is in possession of all information to prove the ownership and we will reveal it to the people of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the Customs said that the Green Earth Summit scheduled to be held in South Korea will be informed of the containers that arrived in Sri Lanka carrying waste material. News 1st earlier reported the manner in which developed countries export their waste material to developing countries instead of dealing with the cost and difficulties of proper waste disposal.

Against this backdrop, custom officials seized 102 containers out of which 94 containers have been discovered to carry waste material. Five containers have been opened so far. The containers which are currently at the Colombo International Container Terminal will be publicly opened on Wednesday or Thursday. Customs said the waste material will be sent back to the country of origin following the investigations. The Customs has also begun investigations to look into 27 other uncleared containers at the port terminals. Several questions can be raised in this regard.

What’s the company that imported these uncleared containers to Sri Lanka?

Who supported the import of these containers?

Shouldn’t authorities arrest those responsible and seize their respective organizations?

However, it must also be noted that if not for the commitment of the officials of the Customs, these 102 containers carrying waste material would have not been discovered.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is sending dozens of containers of waste back to wealthy nations after finding it was contaminated with used diapers, plastic and other materials, adding to a growing backlash in Southeast Asia against being a dumping ground for the developed world’s rubbish.

The Director-General of Customs said that 49 containers at Batam port near Singapore will be returned to Australia, the U.S., France, Germany and Hong Kong after inspections showed their contents violated Indonesian laws on the import of hazardous and toxic waste.

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