By Saman Indrajith
Justice Minister Ali Sabry PC yesterday (11) told Parliament that assessing environmental damage caused by the MV X-Press Pearl disaster would be concluded by the end of this year or early January.
In response to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the Justice Minister said that after the said process was concluded steps would be taken to recover compensation from the owners of the vessel.
“We have already received the first interim claim of Rs. 720 million from them and actions have already been taken to get the second interim claim as well. These interim claims are assessed only for the economic damages caused by the disaster such as expenses for cleaning the debris. We have removed 1,650 tonnes of plastic pellets and used more than 3,500 man-days to clean the debris. We will claim separate compensation for environmental damages as well,” Minister Sabry said.
The Justice Minister said that after assessing the environmental damages, steps could be taken to recover the compensation.
Legal actions would be taken against relevant parties if discussions on compensation did not succeed, the Minister said, adding that owners of the vessel had presented a debris recovery plan and agreed to clear the debris in two stages.