Govt to keep track of explosives issued to quarries

Considering the disappearance of explosives in a quarry in Mawanella, it has been decided to appoint a retired High Ranking Army officer to properly monitor the use the explosives provided to quarries and to supervise the quarries, said Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.

He said the Ministry of Environment has taken measures to monitor the activities of all quarries in a proper manner.

Following the issuance of permits by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau for the quarrying of rock, a report will be submitted to the Ministry of Defense to obtain the explosives. The Minister said that explosives are being issued according to the amount of rock that can be broken per day and with the disappearance of the explosives in a quarry in Mawanella, attention has been focused on whether they were given to any other outside party for any subversive activity.

The Minister also said that steps will be taken to appoint a high ranking retired senior Army officer to oversee other illegal activities related to quarries as well as to explore whether they are harmful to the environment and the people around the quarries and whether these activities are being carried out properly in other quarries. This officer is to be attached to the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau.

The Minister expressed these views to the media yesterday morning (30) at the launch of several eco-friendly programmes with the Atlas Company, one of the leading stationery manufacturers. The Minister of Environment symbolically handed over school bags to schoolchildren in selected districts of our country.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Atlas Company Managing Director Asitha Samaraweera and Senior Manager Nadeeka Jayasinghe were also present.

“The Ministry of Environment has jointly initiated a programme to recycle empty carbon pens in the school system and in government institutions jointly by Atlas and INSEE Cement and has introduced empty carbon pens and discarded toothbrush containers in all schools islandwide,” the Minister said.

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