Expert Committee Recommends To Ban Limestone Quarry Next Victoria Dam




Photo caption: Anura Walpola, Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau handing over the report on earth tremors to Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and handing over the report to Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary when the Chairman met the Secretary of the Expert Committee.

The expert committee which was given the task to look into tremors within the vicinity of Victoria Reservoir yesterday recommended banning on limestone quarrying within 100 meters of the Victoria Reservoir Dam.

The report of the expert committee appointed to conduct a scientific study on the minor earthquakes reported from the areas around the Victoria Reservoir in the Kandy District was handed over to the Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday.

The eleven-member Committee is headed by Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) Chairman Anura Walpola. Other members are Peradeniya University’s Prof. Athula Senaratne, Disaster Management Center Director General Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Engineer in charge of the Victoria Reservoir Project Wasantha Ihalapitiya, Peradeniya University Professors Jagath Goonetileke and L.R.K. Perera, Moratuwa University’s Dr. O. K. Dissanayake, GSMB officials Nalin de Silva, Nilmini Thaldena, Mahinda Seneviratne and National Building Research Organization’s Dr. Gamini Jayatissa.

This committee was appointed on the instructions of the Minister of Environment by Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry. Minister Amaraweera yesterday said that according to the findings of this expert committee, the Victoria Reservoir Dam is not likely to be severely affected by the recent minor tremors. He said that the report also pointed out that limestone quarrying within 100 meters of Victoria Reservoir should be banned, citing explosions in the limestone quarries around Victoria Reservoir Dam.

Accordingly, the Minister has instructed the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau to take necessary steps in this regard. The Minister also said that apart from this, it should be investigated whether the eruptions during limestone quarries are carried out in approved quantities, he said.

Meanwhile, the team met the Secretary to the Ministry, Dr. Anil Jasinghe yesterday afternoon. The experts briefed the Secretary to the Ministry on the report for nearly two hours. There a number of their recommendations were brought to the attention of the Secretary.