Residents protest against environmentally-harmful quarries

Published : 9:40 am  August 22, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (316) reads | 

Padukka and Meepe

 

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By Buddhika Kumarasiri 

Residents of several villages in Padukka and Meepe staged a protest against 16 quarries that had caused extensive environmental damage. They accused the authorities of ignoring the haphazard quarrying despite continual representations. 


The residents said relevant institutions ordered the quarries shut when they found them not in conformity with the rules and regulations of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) and the Environmental Authority. But all the quarries were again in full-swing, they said.  

 

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Meanwhile, Seethawaka Environmental Protection Organisation President Nandana Gamage said the racketeers were carrying on the trade unchecked, and that his organisation made continual representations to relevant authorities in this regard, but to no avail. 


“The owners are carrying on the trade without least concern about its environmental damage or health hazards. It is surprising how they were granted permission to re-open the quarries prohibited earlier. We decided to take to the streets as our last resort and we are

 

The owners are carrying on the trade without least concern about its environmental damage or health hazards

 

hopeful that it would be an eye-opener,” Mr. Gamage said. 

 

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The protestors who assembled at the Pitumpe Sri Purwarama temple attended religious observances and marched to Meepe displaying placards and shouting slogans. After the protest that lasted about an hour, they dashed coconuts and prayed to god to cause the closure of the quarries. 


A police contingent of more than 100 officers from the Homagama Police Division and the Anti-Riot Squad were deployed to beef up the security in the area.