Monday, April 24, 2017

Colombo, Meetotamulla Garbage is not to Puttlam but to Wilpattu

Kala-Oya/Lunu-Ela 200m away from proposed Garbage site

The old Quarry and proposed garbage site
Please see Update and Suggestions

The Meetotamulla garbage is not to Puttalam. Thats a red herring. The proposed site is on the Banks of the Kala Oya and bordering Wilpattu.

Wilpattu National Park is the latest location proposed to dump 470,000 cubic meters of garbage every year. That is the equivalent of a building 3 story high 33 feet x 33 feet of garbage every day.  .  Thats 479 large tipper trucks per day or a tipper truck every 4 minutes, 24/7. That garbage will grow to a mountain 250 feet high every year.

The location proposed is within 200 meters of the beautiful and historic Kala-Oya and in the Wilpattu National Park buffer zone.  Yes, the beautiful scenic Kala-Oya fed by the historic Kala-Wewa built by King Dhatusena in 455 AD.
Toxic Foam from Garbage in Bangalore

The proposed site at GangeWadiya / Aruwakkalu has a steep slope toward the Kala-Oya. It is just a matter of time when the seepage and overflow during the North East monsoon will turn the Kala-Oya into a toxic mess.

In addition any capping with concrete will crack because of dynamite blasting of limestone at the Holcim quarry 500 meters away

This beautiful pristine area is likely to end  up being like the Bellandur Lake in Bangalore and Toms River, New Jersey.  In Bangalore, toxic foam from Bellandur Lake covers the city.   In Toms River, New Jersey,  local residents are affected with higher rates of cancer and children with acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Toxic seepage from the garbage site into Kala-Oya  will kill fish, mangroves and contaminate the whole of  Puttalam Lagoon.  When toxic foams are created, the south west winds will carry the foam into the Wilpattu National Park and end up suffocating all animals.

To make matters worse, the garbage will cover the only visible Miocene Site, Wedi Pitiya, containing  stone tools, potsherds, beads and bony remains of prehistoric human habitation dating back to more than 250,000 years.

This author lived for 5 years (1998-2003) 7 km away from the largest landfill/garbage dump in the World in Staten Island, New York.  Now of course it is called Fresh Kills Park.   It looks nice from a distance, 14 years after its closure in 2001.  However still  "its presence is palpable in the four grassy monadnocks rising up to 225 feet tall, in the intermittent exhalations of landfill gases from passive vents, in the 386,000 gallons of leachate that daily ooze from the mounds into an on-site treatment plant, and in the hundreds of protruding gas wellheads and monitoring pipes".

Thats 467 large bowsers of chemicals every day, and this is 14 years after the land fill was close.

Map of Kala Oya and Garbage site. Click on Image for Google Maps