For Sri Lanka handling of waste and its management has been the most discussed bone-of-contention. There have been several disagreements, disputes and debates surrounding the issue. It has cost many human lives flaring up in most inhuman manner. Shocking news of a mountain of waste devastating a whole area of human domicile causing a death toll of over one hundred human lives just less than two years ago, was seen as it’s latest culmination.
The incident spurred many actions and programmes which are yet to see the light of day. The speed and the momentum that built up in the wake of the Kolonnawa episode as a public concern appears to be deccelarating. Is the matter going to rest composed as it was before the explosion! Plans are said to be on the way. Unfortunately gestating through long periods.
Continuation of the state of affairs and perhaps a “status quo aute” seems to be much preferred by those sharks who were used to the taste of juicy morsels in the run of affairs than the much awaited solutions. The inexplicable slowness in the approach to resolutions has tempted us to peep into the past hidden behind a heap of crap shielding the treasure of wealth and earnings of some involved in the waste-management.
Alarming as they are, the entire picture is taking us to incredible horizons. Finally leaving us with the consternation, whether health, environment, cleanliness and such important elements to a decent human life could be laid by and compromised for the pillage by those in high places.
The issue of waste collection dumping and proper management was centered round the city of Colombo. The role played by the Colombo Municipality was extremely important in this connection.
Hence with no accusing fingers pointed towards anybody the following data statistics, the veracity of which could be ascertained by anybody from sources that matter are shown to enable the public to form their own opinion based on these.
Historical Data – Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) was dissolved with effect from 23rd June 2010, over charges of corruption and a special commissioner was appointed to oversee the functions of the CMC.
The alleged irregularities on the part of the CMC members included the following as reported publicly:
- The awarding of a two-year contract in 2007 to private company Carekleen Pvt Ltd to clear solid waste in two areas of Colombo, without calling for tenders and seeking the CMC’s approval;
- The unauthorized purchase of 1,590 Usha Sewing machines at a cost of Rs. 20 million from Telesonic International;
- A bulk purchase of sheets of asbestos roofing at Rs.968.30 per sheet, as tendered by Chandra Sri Hardware stores, after rejecting an offer of asbestos roofing sheets at Rs.746.23 per sheet, as tendered by Sri Ramco Private Firm; the council’s evaluation committee had recommended the Sri Ramco product as conforming to the purchase specifications;
- The purchase of 10,211 sheets of asbestos for approximately Rs. 8.5 million drawn from Colombo Municipal Council funds for the personal use of council members;
- The purchase of 5,682 pieces of galvanized sheeting for approximately Rs. 5 million from municipal funds for the personal use of council members.
- Failing to credit the Colombo Municipal Council’s general fund with a sum of Rs. 28.9 million earned from the Sathutu Uyana (children’s playground), at the Vihara Maha Devi Park. The park comes under the CMC.
Elections were held in 2011, to elect 59 Councillors and 53 were elected and 6 nominated after the last held in 2016.CMC’s term was extended from Dec 2015 to June 2016 by Gazette Notification.The term of the Council ended in 30th June 2016 and the administration thereafter (until the last election) came under a special commissioner.Elections were held in February 2018 and elected 119 Councillors for a term of 4 years – returning 60 from the UNP and 59 from all other parties.Now let us take a look at the following :An analysis of the Solid Waste Management related expenditure during the period from 2009 to 2016.
God! Where are we? Who can start the throwing of the first stone to kill the sinner woman?