The process of assessing damages caused to the environment by the X-Press Pearl disaster would be completed by the end of December or beginning of January and steps would be taken to recover compensation from the owners of the vessel, Justice Minister Ali Sabri said today.
He told Parliament that Sri Lanka had already recieved the first interim claim of Rs.720 million and action has already been taken to claim the second interim claim as well.
Responding to a question raised by National peoples’ Power (NPP) MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the Minister said these interim claims have been assessed only for the economic damages and added that compensation for environment damages would be claimed separately.
“These interim claims are for economic damages such as expenses for cleaning the debris. We have removed 1,650 tons of plastic pellets and used more than 3,500 man-days for this purpose,” he said.
The Minister said after assessing the environmental damages, steps would be taken to recover damages through discussion with the relevant parties and added that if it was not possible, legal action would be taken against them.
He said the ship owners had agreed to remove debris and the vessel in two stages and said they had submitted “X-Press Pearl debris recovery plan” which included all procedures involved in the process.