(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Dedicated Engineer troops of the Army as of Saturday (22) afternoon, were busy rolling a huge polythene sheet, to cover up the remainder of the garbage heap in order to ensure safety of those still living near the location. While the government is fully committed in providing alternative homes and other facilities to the worst-affected in the Meetotamulla garbage dump tragedy.
Another segment of troops of the Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) and the Corps of Engineer Services (CES), following guidelines, specified by the Commander of the Army, liaised closely with Major General Dananjith Karunaratne, Chief Field Engineer of the Army, and are still busy repairing and re-painting the affected Meetotamulla Sri Rahula Vidyalaya buildings, at the request of the authorities.
Engineer troops offering their technical expertise are meanwhile measuring water levels every hour in the garbage pile with a view to indexing geological changes or developments underneath as advised by geologists. In the meantime, clearing of debris and search for any more mortal remains inside buildings that remain reduced to rubble continued for the eighth consecutive day as of Saturday, using heavy machinery.
All rescue workers to take strict precautionary measures by way of using gas masks, face masks, gloves, boots, etc were also recommended by the troops for obvious reasons. Different experts held several rounds of consultations with Major General Ralf Nugera and Major General Dananjith Karunaratne who are spearheading rescue and clearing operations on the directions of their Commander, Lieutenant General Crishanthe de Silva.
Army troops in their hundreds swiftly jumped into action on the New Year day (April 14) soon after the unexpected disaster struck. Concerned Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army was one among the firsts to arrive at the scene and attended to emergency needs of the troops and immediate safety of the affected alike.
A contingent of Army troops, comprised of Sri Lanka Light Infantry, Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, Gemunu Watch, Commando Regiment, Sri Lanka National Guard troops and Engineer troops, undertook the challenge and have been continuing their clearing operations unabated as the dusk fell on Saturday.
An Operation Room at the location to monitor and facilitate all liaison duties as well as other priorities in close cooperation with the Disaster Management Centre and other relevant authorities, was also established enabling civilians to obtain all relevant information.