MEPA writes to Indian HC over clinical waste issue

The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has written to the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka over the matter of India’s clinical waste polluting Puttalam coastal belt, MEPA General Manager Dr.Turney Pradeep Kumara said.

He told the Daily News yesterday that the MEPA is waiting for a response to the concerned raised by the MEPA in its letter, adding that the MEPA together with the Foreign Affairs Ministry will start diplomatic level discussions to control the environmental problem.

He pointed out that the MEPA has provisions to take legal action on this incident under the International Ocean Law, but first trying to mitigate the problem through discussion.

He noted that the MEPA investigations have proved that the majority of clinical waste found in the Puttalam coastline was from India, especially Kerala.

“It could be due to floods in Kerala that the load of sea debris increased. However, we are not in a position to exactly say whether the clinical waste had been dumped or washed with the ocean currents. The labels in the clinical waste were proof that most of them were from India,” he explained.

“However, this is not a problem that could be solved overnight. Ocean currents are moving sea debris and India will have to take measures to reduce generation of such waste,” he added.

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