Decisions taken to protect environment will not be reversed – President

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President Maithripala Sirisena said the sand, metal and earth are the most corrupted businesses in the country and that he has introduced several laws in the last four years to curb irregularities in these industries.

President Sirisena made this statement addressing a function held at the Polonnaruwa Buddhi Mandapaya on Saturday (22) to introduce the concept of Green Soil Port.

He further stated that a number of laws have been implemented directly and indirectly to prevent the destruction of the environment, including logging and sand mining.

These decisions taken to preserve the environment will not be reversed under any circumstances, he said.

President further emphasized the importance of safeguarding the environment and proper management mechanisms to achieve this objective while paving the way for modern technology.

Under the concept of Green Sand Port, the rivers and river basins are protected, the PMD said. According to this method, an area of 10 feet between the river and the river bank will be called a green zone and will consists of tree plantation. It leaves a 3-foot road leading to the sand ferry.

This system does not allow the tractors to go down the river and the sand mining is carried out according to proper standards. Meanwhile, ferries used for sand mining should be engine-free.

The Green Sand concept has already been introduced and those who do not follow it will not be issued with sand permits. Also, those who do not follow the guidelines the license will be cancelled, said the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau.

The President also instructed the relevant technical services company to increase the salary of Manampitiya sand miners from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 2,500 per day.

The President distributed sandalwood tree plants to these employees.

The Mayor of Polonnaruwa Chanaka Sidath Ranasinghe and the Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Asela Iddawela were also present on this occasion.