Sri Lanka ends search, housing in three months
Apr 19, 2017 19:50 PM GMT+0530 | 1 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday pledged permanent housing within three months to those displaced from Kolonnawa where the search for survivors came to an end with the toll hitting 32.
The Prime Minister toured the affected area and said that all displaced residents would have got new state housing by July. He was also offering 250,000 rupees to each family to replace lost household goods.
Wickremesinghe visited the area after a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena and other ministers on providing assistance to the hundreds of people left homeless after Friday's collapse of the 300-foot rubbish mountain.
Meanwhile, the military said the search for survivors was effectively over as the death toll reached 32. A handful of people listed as missing have now been accounted for. "We are still carrying out clearing operations," military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said. "The final death toll is 32 and a handful of people who were listed as missing are now accounted for."
Hundreds of security forces have been working round the clock to clear the debris at Kolonnawa on the northeastern edge of Colombo. Authorities have declared neighbouring areas unsafe for housing.
The Colombo Municipal Council had promised to remove the rotting piles of rubbish along the streets by noon on Wednesday, but residents said it remained uncleared.
There were sporadic protests in the suburbs of Colombo against the dumping of garbage in smaller landfills in their neighbourhoods.
Police were called to disperse protesters along a main highway on Wednesday and allow garbage trucks access to new dumping grounds. (COLOMBO, April 19, 2017)