Limestone quarries near Victoria Reservoir to be demolished
By Thameenah Razeek
The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) will promptly demolish all limestone quarries within 100 metres of the Victoria Reservoir overflow level. Following mild earthquakes reported in the Victoria Reservoir region in recent years, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera formed an academic group to conduct research on minor earth tremors.
The committee had submitted a report advocating immediate action to protect the watershed and its environs, noting that the region was home to numerous limestone quarries and that the vibration caused by the explosions had resulted the internal limestone strata giving way.
As a result, the GSMB will remove any limestone quarries within 100 metres of the reservoir’s overflow level as soon as possible. Also, the bureau has taken steps to suspend the excavation licences of three large-scale limestone quarries, as well as minor excavations within 100 metres of the site. Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Ministry’s Secretary, inquired about the licences of other groups, and the Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau confirmed that no excavation permits had been issued to anyone within 100 metres of the Victoria Dam overflow level.
He confirmed that there are no other excavation sites within that distance. Dr. Jasinghe requested that the Chairman maintains a watchful eye on these activities.