Environmentalists critical of abolishing permits to transport sand, granite, soil

6 December 2019 12:48 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Environmentalists are of the opinion that the recent Cabinet decision to allow the transportation of sand, granite and soil without permits will have negative impacts on the environment in both the short and long term.

Environment, Wildlife Resources, Land and Land Development Minister S.M. Chandrasena said the decision was made to facilitate those engaged in the construction industry.

Lawyer and environmental protection activist Jagath Gunawardena told Daily Mirror that the decision would further create environmental hazards.

“There are two types of licenses that should be obtained under the current system such as Industrial Mining License and Transport license. The Transport license is connected with the other license,” Mr Gunawardena said.

He said the Industrial Mining License provides a limited quantity for the mining while Transport License determines the quantity of sand, granite or soil. “It is baffling to determine whether the quantity is exceeded or mining has taken place from an unauthorised site at the absence of a Transport License,” Mr Gunawardena said.

Hence, abolishing transport license leads to confusion,” he added.

He said there had not been a proper monitoring procedure when it came to sand, granite, soil mining and there were some shortcomings in the industry.

However, the permit system has controlled illegal mining activities to a certain extent but now it might further aggravate the situation.

Meanwhile, speaking to Daily Mirror, Centre for Environmental Justice Chairman, Attorney-at-Law Ravindranath Dabare said there was no point in abolishing the license without proper monitoring.

“What should be done is to carry out the proper procedure to monitor mining activities. This situation provides more room for illegal mining,” Mr Dabare said.

In addition, Environmentalist Pubudu Weeraratne told Daily Mirror said the decision would definitely have some adverse consequence on the environment.

“This will encourage people to be engaged in mining activities, which would gradually expand resulting in some people to engage in illicit mining,” Weeraratne said.

However, Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Bandula Gunawardana said the suspension of the law to obtain a license for the transportation of sand, stones and soil, by the cabinet on Tuesday would be effective only for a shorter period and an expert report is expected on the matter at the next Cabinet meeting. (Sheain Fernandopulle)

  Comments - 9

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  • Anmanpan Friday, 06 December 2019 02:19 PM

    Take care. White vehicles on the prowl.

    Mm Friday, 06 December 2019 05:35 PM

    You still need a Permit to dig!!! It’s only the transport permit has been taken away to reduce cost for builders. Environmentalists get your facts straight

    DaluBanda Friday, 06 December 2019 02:49 PM

    General public need sand, soil and stones to build their lives at affordable cost. Government has take right direction . It may require to have seperate licences to operate quarries but not for lorries carrying quarry products. It is a violation of human rights, if obstructed. Transport vehicles can have a copy of respective quarry licence,and GRN when carrying products. Police can check the those. (People should be practical)

    varuna Friday, 06 December 2019 03:28 PM

    Correct Anmanpan. People now need to realise that era of freedom of speech and expression is gone....

    Thalatha H Friday, 06 December 2019 03:34 PM

    Indeed sad and shocking to see the importance resources left in an unregulated way to be exploited.

    parakum Friday, 06 December 2019 04:37 PM

    Allowing the Pohottuwa supporters to RAPE the Enviorent.

    dickie bird Friday, 06 December 2019 05:04 PM

    Permit NOT necessary for transport. A permit IS necessary for Mining.

    kumaran Friday, 06 December 2019 05:25 PM

    Plundering of the nation! Thats it.

    Richard G Friday, 06 December 2019 05:44 PM

    this might similar to RK's present to his henchmen with duty free BMWs

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