Joint program of ministries to provide solutions to environmental damage resulted from X-Press Pearl fire
Wed, Jul 21, 2021, 09:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
July 21, Colombo: Mohan de Silva, the newly appointed State Minister of Coast Conservation & Low-Lying Lands Development, today inquired about the environmental damage caused by the MV X-Press Pearl, the Singapore-registered cargo ship that caught fire and sank in the Sri Lankan waters off Colombo Harbor last month.
As the first duty of his new ministerial post, the State Minister visited the wreckage of the X-Press Pearl with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy and after inspecting the ship, he also took part in observing the coast where the disaster had a high impact.
Anil Wijesiri, Secretary to the State Ministry, Mrs. Darshika Lahandapura, Chairperson of Marine Environmental Protection Authority, Pradani S. Ranawaka of the Coast Conservation Department and several others participated in the visit.
The ship, which sank completely on 15th June after a fire erupted onboard on 20th May, is still under Sri Lanka Navy’s protection at the same location.
Discussions have been held on the current tasks required to implement a joint program of various ministries to provide short, medium and long term solutions to the environmental damage caused by the shipwreck and the problems that have arisen.
It is also expected to seek the assistance of the Armed Forces and the Department of Civil Defense to prevent further damage to the coast due to the shipwreck.
Accordingly, the State Minister recently participated in several discussions with the relevant parties regarding the ship and met with the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense, General Kamal Gunaratne to seek the assistance of the tri forces and the Department of Civil Defense for cleaning the environmentally damaged coastline. Attention was also drawn to taking appropriate action in the event of such an accident in the future.
A first round of compensation was paid to the fishing community affected by the ship fire in Ratmalana yesterday. It was chaired by the Chairman of the Colombo District Development Committee, MP Pradeep Undugoda.
More than 2,000 fishing communities in Colombo, Thimbirigasyaya, Ratmalana, Dehiwala and Moratuwa Divisional Secretariats are eligible for compensation.