Rain and fire threatens Meethotamulla, rehabilitation plans in place

meethotamulla garbage

Apr 27, 2017 (LBO) – Rains expected in May and an outbreak of fire still remain as threats to the hundreds of tonnes of rotting garbage piled up near Sri Lanka’s capital, with rehabilitation of the dump now in progress, a minister said.

“What we are doing now is taking measures to control further collapses and stabilization of the dump as a short term solution,” Minister of Megapolis and Western Province Development Champika Ranawaka told reporters Wednesday.

“As reports claim there is no threat of the dump exploding – there is methane but not dangerous levels. It is the high levels of carbon monoxide that we are worried about as this can be a fire hazard. The rains that are expected in May can also destabilize the dump.”

In the next five months we will stabilize the area and only once this is done will we decide on any future plan for the area, he added.

The ministry has listed the following steps as the action plan for the next five months.

Actions to be taken Responsible Institutions Present status as of 25th April 2017
1. Draining out of water trapped inside the dump Megapolis M./SLLRDC/Port City Project Commenced on 18th April and continue until dump is stabilized
2. Draining out of water stagnated in the toe area as a pool SLLRDC/3 Forces Commenced on 18th April and continue until dump is stabilized
3. Draining out of  water trickling down  from the dump SLLRDC/3 Forces Commenced on 19th April and finish within a week

 

4. Open-stand pipe piezometers to be installed to monitor pressure development in danger areas Megapolis M., CECB, Manju G. Commenced on 22nd April and continue until dump is stabilized (4-5 months)
5. Displacement monitoring CECB and 3 Forces Commenced on 24th April and continue until dump is stabilized (4-5 Months)
6. Identification of danger zones and their evacuation efforts NBRO and 3 Forces Already completed
7. Debris removal and stabilization of toe area Megapolis M., NBRO, Prof. Saman, 3 Forces commenced on 18th April and continue until dump is stabilized (4-5 months)
8. Control of possible fire break out Fire Brigade and 3 Forces To be kept on call until the dump is stabilized (4-5 Months)
9. Continuous monitoring of scientific data at the dump by drone- mounted sensors and other techniques (Wetness, crack propagation, water conveyance, thermal images, methane, CO and H2S gases, etc.) Manju G., Megapolis M., NBRO, Universities, 3 forces commenced on 18th April and continue until dump is stabilized (4-5 months)
10. Establishment of early warning system to notify the neighboring people of the imminent danger Megapolis M., DMC, 3 Forces commenced on 18th April and continue until dump is stabilized (4-5 months)
11. Preparation of report on failure modes and further collection of data, information for rehabilitation work Megapolis M. On going (4-5 Months)
12. Preparation of Action Plan for Phase 2 Megapolis M., and all the other experts commenced on 18th April and continue until dump is stabilized (4-5 months)

The authorities sealed the rubbish mountain on the northeastern edge of Colombo after it collapsed following an accident that killed over 30 people destroying 145 homes nearby in a garbage landslide two weeks ago.

The Colombo Municipal Council sought and got permission last week from a local magistrate to access another tip outside the city limits as crows and stray dogs picked through bags of reeking garbage left on city streets.

Officials said all the displaced people have been given houses and have been relocated to a new area.

Parliament had been warned the vast tip posed a serious health hazard, and that a long-term solution was needed to dispose of Colombo’s trash.

Meanwhile the President last night gazetted waste disposal as an essential service.