The Megapolis, Port City and project contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have begun inspections of the quarries that will be supplying quarry material for the Port City project.
According to the Supplementary Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), only licensed quarries can be used for the supply and the inspection tours are to ensure that all the conditions stipulated in the environment approvals are properly met.
The first of the visits made by the team of officials was led by Urban Development Authority (UDA) Deputy Director General and Port City Development Project Director Nihal Fernando recently. The team included representatives from the Megapolis Ministry, UDA, CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Limited (project company) and CHEC.
The visit was made to licensed quarries located in Meegoda and Korathota. Deputy Project Director and UDA Deputy Director Piyusha Gunasekara and Project Engineer Bimal Priyantha were also amongst the visiting team.
Out of the total 250 quarries located in the Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts, only 11 quarries will be used for the supply of quarry material for the Port City Project. According to the report, when considering the total existing licensed quarries in the Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts, the volume of rock to be obtained from the identified quarries, work out to only 7.0 percent and 2.3 percent of the capacity of quarries in Colombo and Gampaha, respectively and zero percent from Kalutara, as the project does not expect to source quarry material from this district. Therefore, the project will only use 4.4 percent of all existing quarries in these districts.
The SEIA done by experts has also analysed traffic-related impacts in transporting quarry material to the construction site. Transport hours have been divided into two sessions that avoid peak hours of the day. In the first session, the loading of trucks, is to be completed by 6:00 p.m. the previous day and they would be parked at the quarry site. The first batch of loaded trucks will start the journey at 4:00 a.m. from the respective quarry sites and reach the port gate before 7:00 a.m.
The SEIA has confirmed that there is facility for parking about 75 trucks around the port gate without disturbing the moving vehicles along the road. As the gate opens at 7:00 a.m., the trucks will enter the stockpiling site through a road located inside the port and after unloading, this batch of trucks will leave the Port City site at about 10:00 a.m.
The trucks are expected to reach their respective quarry sites around 12 noon when loading will begin once again and they would start their journey around 2:00 p.m. in order to reach the Port City site around 4:00 p.m. After unloading, these vehicles would again go to the respective quarry sites for loading and stay at these sites until their journey resumes the next day at 4:00 a.m.