Deduru sand miners defy Court order
The estuary of Deduru Oya Delta ( an embankment dam built across the oya) is being plundered by sand miners in the area. The illegal scheme has been taking place over a long period of time and dredgers are being used to to maximise the quantities of sand mined.
At present sand is excavated to a distance of about 300 metres into the dam and pumped into a private property from where it is transported by tractors at night.
Environmentalists and concerned persons have expressed outrage at the illegal activities taking place quite openly. They allege powerful politicians are behind the scheme.
They added that this was the reason government officials are not taking action to prevent the ongoing damage to the estuary or the illegal transport of sand.
Persons involved in the nefarious scheme are attempting to cover their misdeeds with spurious claims that it is part of a plan to prevent flooding.
The reality is that there is no such plan in existence.
In 2011, when a similar illegal scheme was being carried out, the Bangadeniya Protect the Environment Association filed application at the Supreme Court against the activity. The Court ruling prohibited any business connected with sand excavation on the bunds of the Deduru Oya by Order No: SCFR 226/2006.
The Geological Mines and Survey Bureau, the Environmental Authority of the Wayamba Provincial Council and the police are covered by the Supreme Court decision to limit the issue of licence for mining and the use of heavy equipment in the process of mining.
Officials of the Coastal Conservation Department denied permission had been granted for the operation. "We are unaware of such practices. In fact we are in the process of expanding the delta. We are unaware of sand mining at the Deduru Oya Delta", an official of the department said.
Deputy Director of the of the Chilaw Divisional Secretariat , W. R. Wickremanayake said there was no provision for sand mining in Deduru Oya and no permission had been granted to transport sand at night. Text and Pix by Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe
The illegally mined sand was pumped into a private land
A police guard has been placed at the site