The suspension of the law to obtain a licence for the transportation of sand, stones and soil, by the cabinet on Tuesday would be effective only for a week and an expert committee report is expected on the matter at the next cabinet meeting, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardana said yesterday.
The Cabinet would take a permanent decision whether to continue it, lift it or implement with amendments based on the recommendations of the expert committee, Minister Gunawardana added.
Addressing the weekly Cabinet news briefing last morning, Minister Gunawardana said the ban was imposed by the Cabinet considering the difficulty faced by the local construction industry in obtaining sand, soil and stones.
“The government is aware of the high cost of these raw materials. The cost of supplying sand, soil and stones have skyrocketed during transportation as suppliers have to pay for various permits in addition to various illegal payments and gratifications to many other individuals and establishments. This is an open secret. The Cabinet would review the situation next week based on the recommendations of the expert committee and take a permanent decision on the matter. Bricks and tile manufacturers have also complained to the government on the high cost of raw materials like clay used for the manufacturing of them,” Minister Gunawardana said.
“However the relaxation of the law must not affect the environment in any way. The protective measure and laws imposed to protect the environment will remain intact and the law would be applied unchanged on any one who attempts to exploit the relaxation to their advantage,” Minister Gunawardana stressed.
“No one is permitted to mine rivers or river basins illegally for sands, remove soil or stones polluting the environment. The law will be dealt with them strictly as usual. The suspension of the ban must be used in an extremely transparent manner,” he noted. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
Ha Ha Ha! This is my best joker. Where is the Rs.130 US dollar. No such utterance anymore.
NAK Friday, 06 December 2019 01:14 PM
The permits system for the transport for sand,earth, and stones etc. is an utter failure. This system has been abused mercilessly and and created mafia in related fields which has inconvenienced the consumers.
While there is some truth in what the environmentalists say some other means must be found to handle those concerns must do away with this failed system.
Strictly monitoring the sources is the best solution and getting the support of environmentalists in this regard would be the most practical solution.
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