Hotline for information and complaints

The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau has introduced a 24-hour hotline - 1921 - for the public to obtain information and to make complaints, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Chairman Attorney-at-law Nimal Bopage said.

Addressing a press conference at the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau auditorium in Colombo yesterday, he said the public can obtain any information through the hotline and also forward complaints. This is the only state institution which does not take a cent from the Treasury but instead gives several millions to the Treasury annually. There are around 300 other state institutions that take around Rs. 200 or 300 million annually from the Treasury for their survival, he said.

According to the Chairman, this year, it is expected to increase the funds given to the Treasury by the Bureau to Rs. 5,000 million. The Bureau has 16 provincial officers at present and it is expected to open one office in each district before the end of this year.

The issuance of licences is getting delayed due to the involvement of other state bodies. The applicant must obtain approval from those state bodies.

Deputy Director (Mines) Eng. D. Sajjana de Silva said annually around 100,000 licences are issued for various purposes by the Bureau. Out of this number, around 6,000 are issued for sand mining and transportation. Illegal sand mining and transportation (without a licence) is around 30 percent.

​Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Director General Prof. Rohan Fernando said the Bureau had already formulated 21 geological maps on Sri Lanka covering the entire country while the formulation of geological chemical mapping had also commenced.

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