Coal piles in Thampalakamam, potential health hazard - MP

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 January 2004, 04:30 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham Monday sent an urgent letter to Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Mr.Rukman Senanayake to take immediate steps to remove large coal piles in a private land in Thampalakamam, on the Trincomalee-Colombo trunk road. The parliamentarian pointed out that the piles pose a severe health hazard to the villagers of Thampalakamam, according to civil sources.

Consignments of coal imported to Puttalam cement factory are unloaded in Trincomalee harbour and stacked in Thampalakamam village before being taken to Puttalam. This is done because of difficulties in transporting the coal straight from the port to Puttalam by lorries by the transport agents.

However the health authorities concerned in Trincomalee have not given due consideration to the environmental pollution from coal piles in residential areas in Trincomalee, sources said.

In the start, transport agents stacked the imported coal in a private land at Abeyapura, close to Uppuveli Police Station in Trincomalee. Due to protest by parliamentarian Mr.Thurairetasingham and civil groups of the area provincial health authorities stopped transport agents piling coal in Abeyapura. However transport agents shifted their operation to Tampalakamam village. Mr.Thurairetasingham for the second time brought this matter to the notice of the Environmental Minister who in turn ordered the removal of the coal from the Thampalakamam village.

However disregarding the order by the ministry concerned once again transport agents Monday started to resume dumping coal in Thampalakamam village close to the office of the Divisional Secretariat.

Mr.Thurairetasingham in the letter to the minister concerned said, "I am bringing this serious matter for your notice for the third time. The health of the people of Thampalakamam village is at stake. Even government servants in Thampalakamam DS office are unable to work because of environmental pollution due to piling coal close to their work place. Hence I appeal to you to take immediate steps to stop piling coal in residential areas in Trincomalee district."

 

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