The Megapolis, Port City and the project contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have begun inspections of the quarries, that will be supplying quarry material for the Port City project. According to the SEIA, only licensed quarries can be used for the supply and the inspection tours are to ensure that all the conditions stipulated in the environment approvals are properly met.
The first of the visits made by the team of officials was led by Mr. Nihal Fernando, Deputy Director General of the UDA and Director of the Port City Development Project on the 16th of November. The team included representatives from the Ministry of Megapolis, UDA, CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Limited (the Project Company) and CHEC. The visit was made to licensed quarries located in Meegoda and Korathota. Ms. Piyusha Gunasekara, Deputy Project Director and Deputy Director of the UDA and Mr. Bimal Priyantha, Project Engineer were also amongst the visiting team.
Out of the total 250 quarries located in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, only 11 quarries will be used for the supply of quarry material for the Port City Project. According to the report, when considering the total existing licensed quarries in the three Districts – Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, the volume of rock to be obtained from the identified quarries, work out to only 7.0 percent and 2.3 percent of the capacity of quarries in Colombo and Gampaha respectively, and zero percent from Kalutara, as the project does not expect to source quarry material from this district. Therefore, the project will only use 4.4 percent of all existing quarries in these districts.
The SEIA done by experts has also analysed traffic related impacts in transporting quarry material to the construction site. Transport hours have been divided into two sessions that avoid peak hours of the day. In the first session, the loading of trucks is to be completed by 6 p.m. the previous day and they would be parked at the quarry site. The first batch of loaded trucks will start their journey at 4 a.m. from their respective quarry sites and reach the port gate before 7 a.m. The SEIA has confirmed that there is facility for parking about 75 trucks around the port gate without disturbing moving vehicles along the road. As the gate opens at 7 a.m., trucks will enter the stockpiling site through a road located inside the port and after unloading, this batch of trucks will leave the Port City site at about 10 a.m.
The trucks are expected to reach their respective quarry sites around 12 noon when loading will begin once again, and they would start their journey around 2 p.m., in order to reach the port city site around 4 p.m. After unloading, these vehicles would again go to the respective quarry sites for loading and stay at these sites until their journey resumes the next day morning at 4 a.m.
In order to avoid congestion and ensure smooth access to the port, It has been proposed to park the trucks in the vicinity, until the gate is opened. The project company says the fleet would be strictly managed until it reaches the gate without obstructing the entrance.