- After negotiations they have agreed to charge Rs. 320 + Vat per kilometre
- Initially they agreed for 30 trucks and now they have 40
New issues have emerged in Colombo’s garbage crisis. With an explosion taking place at the Aruwakkalu sanitary landfill site, signs of a second ‘Meethotamulla episode’ were seen last week. While the process of dumping garbage was disrupted on several occasions, the proposed landfill sites are exceeding their capacities. On the other hand, several allegations were levelled against the Colombo Mayoress and Colombo Municipal Council’s (CMC) ruling faction for hiring 10-wheeler tipper trucks sans tender procedures for transporting garbage to Aruwakkalu.
A pricey contract
The contract to transport garbage to Aruwakkalu in 10-wheeler tipper trucks has been offered to P. U. J. S Fernando and Sons, who quoted the highest in a list of six bidders, for a period of six months. After negotiations they have agreed to charge Rs. 320 + Vat per kilometre. However, this amount was reduced to Rs. 295, but during the financial transactions they have insisted on being paid at the initial rate of Rs. 320 along with an additional Rs. 160 for the return journey. Several Colombo Municipal councillors claim that this is unlawful and that these transactions are in violation of certain clauses in the Municipal Ordinance. While this sums up to a total of 30 lakhs to transport garbage per day the Councillors also claim that they weren’t informed that the bidding process would be closed by September 11. They also claim that a competitive bidding process was not conducted by a technical evaluation committee and alleged that the Mayoress was not aware of any such procedures either. The Dailymirror also learned that this company was the last in the list of six bidders. However three proposals were rejected and three were taken in for a detailed evaluation.
An abuse of public money : Gonawela
In her comments, CMC’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) member Sharmila Gonawela said that at least three tenders should have been called. “The said Company is owned by a close associate of the former CMC Commissioner and from what I hear he procurement department was pressurised to hand over the contract to this company. Initially they agreed for 30 trucks and now they have 40. Although they say it’s a six months contract it will be given to them for a longer period. This is an abuse of public money.”
The said Company is owned by a close associate of the former CMC Commissioner. he has pressurised the procurement department
We voted against the tender process : Weerakoon
“We opposed the tender procedures since the contract was awarded in an unlawful manner,” claimed JVP’s CMC member Hemantha Weerakoon. “The contract was offered for six months and per day they were going to charge one lakh. The cost of 30 tippers for a month would be 900 lakhs and for six months it would have approximately been 5400 lakhs and so on. So we proposed that they charge 100 lakhs per tipper and even if there are 40 tippers the cost would have still been less. The public needs to be aware of what happens to their money. When we did the costing we realised that the initial agreement is costly and therefore we voted against it.”
I could have built houses from money spent on transporting garbage : Senanayake
“I have been asking for time till October, but suddenly the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLRDC) stopped taking our garbage to Kerawalapitiya within 24 hours,” said Colombo Mayoress Rosy Senanayake. “Now we have offered Aitken Spence to construct the Western Power waste-to-energy project and when that is done most of these issues would be sorted. This is indeed a costly affair because you need specific trucks to sanitise garbage and they need to be sealed before transporting. Aruwakkalu is a failed project and they haven’t been able to deliver on what they promised. But all those ministers including Champika Ranawaka and Pradeshiya Sabhas started taking ransom from me for transporting garbage. Since we had to transport garbage we called for tenders and after going through proper tender procedures we offered the contract to the best bidder. We look for infrastructure, capability and several other criteria before awarding the contract. I’m pushing for the Western Power waste-to-energy project because when that is completed I can save money. People live on cesspits and I could have built houses for them with all this money I spent for transporting garbage.”
Aruwakkalu is a failed project and they haven’t been able to deliver on what they promised. But all those ministers started taking ransom from me
Criteria were evaluated : Nanayakkara
In his comments CMC Commissioner Palitha Nanayakkara said that there were three bidders who had submitted documents, but two of them were rejected. “They were financial failures and therefore we rejected them. Criteria includes that the vehicles should not be more than five years and that each tipper truck should be a 10 wheeler and should carry minimum 10 metric tonnes of garbage. The criteria were evaluated by a technical evaluation committee before the contract was awarded to this company.”
The Dailymirror learns that nearly 600 metric tonnes of garbage gets accumulated in Colombo per day, out of which nearly 350 metric tonnes are perishable waste. The remainder is solid waste and is being taken to Aruwakkalu daily. Before the Kerawalapitiya dump was proposed, garbage was dumped at two sites in Meethotamulla and Bloemendhal. On October 7, an explosion occurred at a Regulation Tank where leachate from the garbage was being collected and a special probe has been launched. However, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development rejected claims that the explosion was due to methane since the Tank is 700mm thick and is covered with a 400mm thick layer of concrete.
request to reduce transportation cost
They were financial failures and therefore we rejected them. Criteria includes that the vehicles should be five years