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Permits for sand, quarry and soil excavations Minister instructs GSMB chairman to suspend issuance of permits

24 December 2020 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Sandun A. Jayasekera 

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera on Tuesday instructed the Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) Anura Walpola to suspend the issuance of permits to mine or excavate sand, quarry and soil to any politician or persons associated with their families with immediate effect. 


The decision was taken after numerous requests were made to the Ministry of Environment seeking permits for sand, quarry and soil excavations. 


Minister Amaraweera said at a discussion held at the Ministry of Environment on Tuesday (22) that the objective of some people who enter politics through popular votes was to earn a fast buck while destroying the environment by obtaining permits for sand and soil mining. 


Therefore, Minister Amaraweera instructed Mr. Walpola to formulate new laws in this regard if necessary. 
The Minister said that he had observed that excavation sites where sand, gravel and soil were being excavated looked like graveyards possessed by demons and have become a big threat to the environment. 


The permits for sand mining and soil removal or quarries are issued with an undertaking to fill the pits created by mining and remake the land environment friendly which in many instances are ignored and the site left totally damaged. The GSMB would take steps to make those places eco-friendly after the excavations were carried out from its own funds. 

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