Apr 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to expedite the resettlement process for the people who are affected by the section of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse.
The President today held a meeting with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, relevant ministers and officials at the Ministry of Disaster Management on providing relief measures to the victims of the disaster.
At the meeting it has been decided to implement a program for providing houses for the displaced persons from tomorrow (April 20) and initially, houses will be given to 98 families, whose houses were completely destroyed.
President Sirisena also instructed to strengthen the process of providing infrastructure facilities to the affected people while giving priority to evacuate people who are in the danger zone around the Meethotamulla disaster area.
The President further instructed to clear the Meethotamulla garbage dump in the next few months under the supervision of the Sri Lanka Army as well as to ban the illegal settlements.
A decision was taken to grant Rs. 250,000 to purchase house utensils in addition to the house which will be given to a resettled family. Measures will be taken to evacuate families from high danger zones identified in accordance with scientific research.
Addressing the meeting the President said reports indicated that a written notice was issued on 7th April for residents to leave the area. He said the people were reluctant to leave their houses even after the disaster. However action should be taken to evacuate them as soon as possible, the president said adding that the garbage dump should be removed.
He said it is essential to find out how many people are living in the area illegally. A Final decision should be taken on such matters soon. Measures should be taken to prevent the reoccurrence of such a disaster, the President stressed.
The President further stated that required activities for providing compensations to the victims should be done with extreme vigilance. He requested the continuance of the assistance given by all institutions to provide relief to the victims.
The president said the media reports which said compensation was stipulated at Rs. 100,000 were completely wrong. He said separate ministries should not issue such statements and the Disaster management Ministry is entrusted with the task. He said Evaluation Depart has been instructed to submit a report assessing the damages to the properties this week and compensation will be based on those reports.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe directed the Treasury to release necessary financial provisions. He reiterated that the got will bear the full responsibility of the incident and take necessary measures to provide relief to the affected families without accusing each other for the current situation.
Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said 60 houses will be built with the assistance of the Urban Development authority. The number will be increased to 98 and all these houses will be purchased by the government for the displaced.
Providing houses to others would be completed by June with the cooperation of the Housing development Authority and UDA.
The Premier said several teams from the World Bank and Japan are expected to arrive in the island shortly to tackle the issue of garbage disposal.
The next progress review meeting regarding the Meethotamulla disaster will be held on the 21st April at the Ministry of Disaster Management.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Sagala Ratnayake, Vajira Abeywardena, A. H. M. Fowzie, Chief Minister of Western Province Isura Devapriya, Commanders of Tri Forces and the Inspector General of Police joined the discussion.