Connect with us

News

Causes of gas explosions not determined yet – govt.

Published

on

By Saman indrajith

State Minister of Co-operative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection Lasantha Alagiyawanna told Parliament yesterday that there had been 233 incidents of gas cylinder mishaps from January 2015 to 31 October this year.

Making a special statement on recent incidents of explosions caused by gas leaks from cylinders, the State Minister said the authorities concerned had not been able to determine the causes of those events.

The State Minister said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered that all the incidents be probed by experts.

Three reports had been obtained from a private company, identified as Intec, paid for by the Consumer Affairs Authority, and those related to the recent explosions caused by gas leaks, Alagiyawanna said.

“The Colombo Gas Company was established during the colonial period. Various government bodies were vested with the responsibility of regulating gas, however to date there has been no regulation on gas by a single state organisation,” he said.

Minister Alagiyawanna said that the Consumer Affairs Authority, which came under his ministry, had not fulfilled all the conditions set out by a gazette notification published in 2012.

He said the CAA had collected 12 samples of gas cylinders from the Ratnapura,

Kurunegala, Gampaha, Galle, Kalutara, and Colombo areas, where mishaps occurred, to be investigated.

The samples had been sent to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to be tested and the reports would be handed over to experts at the University of Moratuwa for advice, he said.

Based on expert advice, instructions would be issued for the necessary measures to be taken in that regard within one week, he said.

The State Minister admitted that there was no SLSI standard as regards the percentages of butane and propane in domestic gas, and added that according to the SLSI there were no international standards in that regard in other countries as well.

However, the universities believe that a change in the composition of gas could affect the pressure in the cylinder, he told the Parliament, adding that it was not possible to reach a conclusion yet.

He said that reports on investigations conducted on the explosions caused by gas leaks in domestic gas cylinders were expected this week.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Booster shots: Poor public response makes GMOA contemplate legal remedy

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Lack of enthusiasm among the public to receive the booster dose was disconcerting, given that Sri Lanka had a long-established and highly functional immunisation programme, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said yesterday.

By 20 January 2022, 64.56% of Sri Lankans had been fully vaccinated, but only 22.47% had received the booster dose, the GMOA said.

“At the early stages of vaccination against Covid-19 the public response was favourable. However, the current waning of interest might be driven by the myths and rumours regarding the vaccines. It is important to take measures to counter such misinformation by raising public awareness of the ongoing vaccination programme.”

“Legal action against those responsible for the spread of communicable diseases can be taken under the Penal Code”, GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando said. “Provisions of the Quarantine Ordinance can be used against persons who do not comply with directions given by the proper authorities under the Quarantine Ordinance,” he said.

The GMOA said that several countries had made it mandatory to have proof of vaccination for entry into public places. The same thing could be done in Sri Lanka to ensure that more people got vaccinated.

Continue Reading

News

Govt., SJB haggle over procedure to rescue country

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

The SJB on Sunday said that it was wrong for the President and the government to seek the assistance of the Opposition to steer the country out of the present crises without creating a proper forum to obtain such assistance.

Addressing the media at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo, Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivering the latter’s third Policy Speech in Parliament last week had sought the assistance of the Opposition. “His speech is full of excuses. He sought our assistance but there is no forum to offer our assistance. The government too has asked for the same several times. If the government needs the Opposition’s assistance, what it should do is to declare a state of national disaster situation so that the Opposition could make use of Parliament as the forum for our contributions. That has not been done so far. The President and the government could make use of the provisions of the Disaster Management Act No 53 of 2005 to form a disaster management committee comprising the government and opposition MPs.

The President is the ex-officio Chairman of the committee, the Prime minister and the Opposition leader are there with 24 government ministers and five opposition MPs. In addition to that there are provisions to the involvement of the Chief Ministers of Provinces in the committee. If the government genuinely needs our support it should have started forming that committee. There are laws enabling the formulation of mechanisms to help people the government does not make use of them. We have been repeatedly asking the government to appoint that committee.

Continue Reading

News

Lord Ahamad plants kumbuk tree sapling during visit to Bellanwila – Attidiya Bird Sanctuary

Published

on

By Ifham Nizam

Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, the United Nations and the Commonwealth at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK, planted a Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna) sapling at the Bellanwila – Attidiya Bird Sanctuary last week.

The Department of Wildlife said Lord Ahmad had been joined by the British High Commissioner in Colombo Sarah Hulton, Hasanthi Urugodwatte Dissanayake, Acting Additional Secretary of Ocean Affairs, Environment and Climate Change at the Foreign Ministry, Saman Liyanagama, Wildlife Ranger of the Colombo Wildlife Range, Department of Wildlife Conservation and Professor Sevvandi Jayakoddy, Senior Lecturer of the Wayamba University.

The planting activity was followed by a brief visit to the wetland and Prof. Jayakoddy, and Liyanagama explained the importance of wetland ecosystems as well as challenges in conservation and maintenance, while Dissanayake briefed him on the Sri Lanka’s pioneering work related to mangrove restoration and conservation, both at policy level as well as at the ground level.

Hasini Sarathchandra, Publicity Officer, Department of Wildlife Conservation said British High Commission in Colombo with the International Water Management Institute Headquartered in Sri Lanka, had already launched a project under the Darwin Initiative at the Baddegana Wetlands.  Similar collaborations are envisaged involving the Bellanwila – Attidiya Bird Sanctuary.

Wetlands play an important role in our natural environment. They mitigate the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else. Colombo is a city built on and around wetlands. Despite progressive loss and degradation, wetlands still cover some 200 km2 of the Colombo metropolitan area and suburbs.

The wetlands are fundamental to the well-being of the people of Colombo and its suburbs. The wetlands can reduce extreme air temperatures and make the city more live able due to evaporative cooling. The wetlands provide a critical land-mass which helps to maintain the richness of Colombo’s biodiversity.

The Bellanwila-Attidiya wetlands was declared as a bird sanctuary on 25 July 1990, due to biodiversity of the area and its contribution to controlling floods. The wetlands, which span over 930 acres, host endemic species and is a paradise for migratory birds. 44 species of fish including 06 which are endemic to the country have been identified in the Bolgoda River which flows through the wetlands. The wetlands are also home to 21 reptilian species, 17 species of mammals and 10 butterfly species. Bellanwia-Attidiya sanctuary falls within the upper catchment of the Bolgoda river basin. The Department of Wildlife Conservation manages the Bellanwila-Attidiya Sanctuary.

Selection of the location was also due to the close collaboration that Sri Lanka has with the Government of the UK on conservation of mangroves and wetlands.

Continue Reading

Trending