Sand mining in coconut estates halted

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) to suspend sand mining licenses for coconut estates immediately.

The Consultative Committee meeting of the Environment Ministry held in Parliament on Friday (4) stated that sand mining in coconut lands has caused severe environmental damage and has reduced reduced coconut yields.

Minister Amaraweera emphasized that extensive sand mining in coconut lands is currently taking place in the North Western Province and in other provinces as well.

He said that this situation was one of the main reasons for the increase in the price of coconut in the market now and that sand mining was responsible for the annual decline in the coconut harvest.

State Minister D.B.Herath pointed out that many valuable and fertile coconut lands are being destroyed due to large scale sand mining in coconut lands in the North Western Province.

Therefore, in order to control this situation, the Minister of State called for a ban on sand mining permits.

The Minister instructed the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau in the Consultative Committee to suspend sand mining permits on coconut lands in view of this request and the current situation.

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