It is up to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to decide on the Aruvakaru garbage disposal project, as my responsibility is over, Megapolis and Western Region Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told parliament yesterday.
Speaking during the committee stage debate in the House, Minister Ranawaka said President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and even Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa, should consider the Aruvakkaru as a national issue. “My ministry was asked to design and construct it. We carried out that the responsibility and it is done up now. It is up to the President and Prime Minister to make a political decision to operate it,” the Minister said.
“The approval was not given after the environmental assessment report on the false premise that it is the location in the Willpathu buffer zone. The garbage disposal complex is actually located in Wanathawilluwa and not in Puttalam. People in Wanathawilluwa have not shown their opposition to it. Only a certain group in Puttalam had protested against it. There is a political agenda behind the protests. There may only be a few who are genuinely concerned about the environment. Focusing on the projects which his ministry is involved in, the Minister said constructions of the Port City would begin on the reclaimed land this year.
The construction of the financial city, international school, international hospital and the conference hall will begin this year. He also advised that a park, six times bigger than the Galle Face, will come up this year. This park he said would be constructed instead of the original plan to construct the formula one track. Minister Ranawaka also revealed the plan to construct a new city merging the areas between Dehiwala and Kolpity.
He added that the government will implement the plan proposed by late President J. R Jayewardene to locate all government offices in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte. Around 112 establishments will be relocated in Jayewardenepura under this plan. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)