FR against Meetotamulla garbage dump fixed for argument


A fundamental rights petition filed against Meetotamulla garbage dump was fixed for argument on February 14 next year by Supreme Court, yesterday.

This petition was filed by seven residents of Meetotamulla area citing Colombo Municipal Council, Urban development authority, Western Province Waste Management Authority, Central Environment Authority, Kolonnawa Municipal Council and the Attorney General as Respondents.

At a previous occasion, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) informed the Supreme Court that they have taken a decision to refrain from dumping garbage at Meetotamulla area in Kolonnawa.

The Supreme Court had also granted leave to proceed with this fundamental rights petition.

The petitioners are seeking a declaration from Court stating that the proposed expansion of the dumping site is an imminent infringement of their fundamental rights. The Petitioner stated that the Kolonnawa city is a highly residential area, with high population density and laments in the middle of this highly residential area is a huge and growing garbage dumping site, with a huge mountain of garbage, which has now grown to over 18 acres in extent.

They stated that the garbage from the Colombo Municipal limit is brought and dumped into this mountain of garbage and that approximately 750 to 1,200 tons of garbage come into the site on a daily basis.

They allege the stench is now becoming unbearable for the families and children and that there are tremendous and serious health hazard, with around 30 people of the area having died due to germs and dengue, rat flu, skin deceases, kidney diseases. Hundreds of other families are affected and their numbers are growing daily.

They say that there are other sustainable solutions (other than the dumping of garbage in the aforesaid manner), which could bring an end to this problem, but that these measures are not being taken by the respondents. They alleged that the respondents are taking immediate measures to demolish another 100 houses to expand the site for a further 3 acres.

They added that there are people and companies who are interested in purchasing the garbage (for money) and who are willing to recycle the garbage at their own expense in an environment friendly manner. Deputy Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva Appeared for the AG. President's Counsel Saliya Peiris with counsel Nuwan Bopage appeared for the petitioners.

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