Jun 04, 2017

SLT tender raises environmental, forex concerns! Featured

A Sri Lanka Telecom tender to dispose of a discarded stock of cables will lose foreign exchange to the country and also cause environmental pollution, warns the national movement for the protection of consumer rights.

Its president Ranjith Withanage, in a statement, refers to the related tender-calling on 16 May 2017 under no. L/0178/2017.

In order to separate copper from the cables, the cables will be set on fire, that will cause considerable environmental pollution, he notes.

In other countries this process takes place at a factory equipped with appropriate equipment to prevent environmental pollution, says Withanage.

The SLTs’ tender condition bans both the local sale and the exportation of the separated copper.

The movement questions as to what purpose this will serve then.

Previously, on 21 April 2015, tenders were called under no. L/0221/2015 for the sale of discarded cables, and the tender board awarded it to three companies friendly with the SLT chairman, the statement says.

Those companies had set the cables in fire to separate the copper, causing environmental pollution and then secretly exported the copper to deny foreign exchange to the country.

Two persons were injured and hospitalized during that process, the movement says, adding that it has the relevant information.

It says it will keep a watch to see if the tender this time is given to a qualified company, failing which it will go to court with environmental groups against it.

How cables are set on fire to separate the copper