Written by Zulfick Farzan
04 Feb, 2021 | 10:45 am
Colombo (News 1st); The Ministry of Environment has decided to re-issue Kalu Ganga sand mining permits for a temporary period.
The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau banned sand mining in a 14 km stretch from the estuary to Nartupana due to excessive sand mining.
Accordingly, the extension of 246 mining permits issued for sand mining in the area after December 31st, 2020 was suspended.
The decision was taken as the people of Kalutara were facing a drinking water problem due to the rising seawater along the Kalu Ganga during the dry season.
Due to this, the supply of drinking water to the people of Kalutara was suspended on several occasions in 2019.
An investigation by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau confirmed that the river had turned to a depth of 12-14 meters at various places in the area.
It was also decided to ensure that there was no sand in the area and to stop the sand excavation for some time to prevent the river from deepening and to allow time for the sand deposits to re-form.
However, as a result of this decision, a number of families who made a living from sand mining have become helpless and their families have requested a concessionary solution, said the Ministry of Environment.
Accordingly, it was agreed to issue sand mining permits again on several conditions.
Three months after the issuance of these permits, another sand survey and an electronic survey of the Kaluganga will be conducted.
If it is confirmed that the seawater is mixing with the river water, sand mining will be banned again.
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