Gravel Mining at Thambagalla, Madampe

A two acre land located adjacent to Panirendawa Forest Reserve in Madampe has been mined extensively  to a depth of ninety feet, and has not been refilled; a requirement in the permit issued for gravel mining by the Geological Survey & Mines Bureau (GSMB). Another permit for mining in a land adjacent to this plot was requested by a developer.
Considering the already degraded extent of land, further removal of gravel and the effects of mining in this land, which is adjacent to the forest reserve, were suspected of causing severe environmental degradation and depletion of water levels by the local community. The residents complain that the availability of water for betel leaf farms, coconut plantations and home gardens have also been reduced over the years. At the same time, these activities affect the villagers’ key sources of income such as betal leaves plantations, coconut cultivation etc.
Protests were carried out by the local community highlighting the destructive effects on the water resources. EFL intervened by raising the said concerns with relevant government authorities upon a site inspection and applicable information that was gathered. As a result, the GSMB reevaluated the permit issued and imposed strict conditions, further reducing the duration allowed for mining.