Activists seek closure of quarry on Khao Raet

Activists seek closure of quarry on Khao Raet

KANCHANABURI: Conservationist groups in this western province have voiced opposition to an extension of a company's concession to run a quarry, saying it has caused noise pollution, dust and other health hazards.

A 25-year concession -- running from June 1, 1995 to May 31, 2020 -- to operate the quarry on Khao Raet mountain overlooking Kanchanaburi town was granted to Silakhaonoi Limited Partnership. The concession allows the company to mine dolomite and limestone for the construction industry.

The firm has submitted a request for an extension to the concession rights.

Apinan Chotirosseranee, chairwoman of the Kanchanaburi Women's Group, said the use of explosives on Khao Raet has long caused noise pollution, produced clouds of dust that irritate the town's residents and caused other health hazards.

Ms Apinan said the quarry is close to key government offices including city hall, the provincial court and the governor's residence. The explosions shattered the windows of city hall on several occasions.

The group is calling on the authorities to refuse to extend the concession rights and order the firm to remove its property from the site, she said.

Surapong Kongchanthuek, adviser to the conservation group, said the quarry has long caused vibrations and dust, particularly the toxic PM2.5, and the appearance of Kanchanaburi, which is a tourist attraction, has been spoilt.

Khao Raet itself has many tourist spots such as Man Wichit, Sua and Mangkorn Thong caves, he said, urging officials to quickly restore Khao Raet.

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