State Minister Vidura Wickremanayake uncovers illegal sand mining operation

State Minister Vidura Wickremanayake uncovers illegal sand mining operation

State Minister Vidura Wickremanayake uncovers illegal sand mining operation

Written by Staff Writer

09 Dec, 2019 | 9:27 pm

Colombo (News 1st): State Minister Vidura Wickremanayaka drew attention to an illegal sand mining operation in Horana, conducted under the guise of a development project. The land in Horana, belonging to the Rubber Development Department, has a small lake built within the land to supply water for the plants.

The State Minister visited the land to investigate the allegations raised by residents, that the lake is being used to mine sand on a large scale. It was revealed at the visit that the sand was mined and sold under a license acquired, to build a temple in the area.

Police Officer: There is no basis to make an arrest. Sir, they have been issued a valid license and they have a separate license to transport. You don’t need an additional license to transport sand.

Vidura Wickremanayake: Now there is a procedure of issuing a license. They have not followed that procedure in acquiring a license. Various people have taken bribes and the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau is completely filled with a bunch of thieves. I take responsibility for what I’m saying. Go to the temple of Ven. Vaga Wimalaratne Thero and see if the sand is there and what has happened to the sand that was brought.

Manager: We only have the need to expand the lake.

Vidura Wickremanayaka: When was that?

Manager: Around three or four months this year.

Resident: Its been more than 3 or 4 months, it’s been more than a year.

Manager: There is the Police, the Geological department and our officers. No one can cheat in a state institution.

Vidura Wickremanayake: Don’t illegal activities take place in state institutions?

Manager: They don’t happen here

Vidura Wickremanayake: Do you take responsibility for what you’re saying? I can show what happened after 2001? I’m asking you the reason for making this lake.

Manager: Sir we need 100,000 litres per hour.

Vidura Wickremanayake: No I only need your opinion. The Central Environmental Authority is also filled with thieves. If they get a bribe or if they are given commissions, they will give permits for anything. What do the residents have to say?

Resident: We have wells 20 to 35 feet deep. In the houses towards high ground, they drink water from the wells. Because of this lake, the water levels in the wells will run low.

Vidura Wickremanayake: Has the water level dropped now?

Residents: Yes.

Vidura Wickremanyake: This is a very unfortunate situation. Unsuitable people have been ruling the country. We hope at least the new government will change these things.

The State Minister instructed the Police to conduct investigations into the matter.

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