Ishara S. Kodikara | AFP | Getty Images Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, center, speaks to supporters at the prime minister's official residence in Colombo on December 16, 2018, after he was reappointed as prime minister by Sri Lanka's president, the same man who fired him from the job nearly two months ago.

A pilot project to mine Sri Lanka’s seabed off the Western coast for offshore sand to sustain a flagging construction industry, has gone up for Treasury approval.
Spearheaded by the Coast Conservation Department of the Fisheries Ministry, the initial project cost to the tune of US$ 5 mn, is to be funded by the Dutch Government.rn

rnOffshore mining or dredging, involves scooping up large quantities of sand off the seabed, at depths of about 15 m, roughly 2 km off the coast, and collecting it in a stockpile, before it is sold.rn

rnldblquote We have already obtained cabinet approval and have submitted the project to the Finance Ministry for evaluation
dblquote , says Project Director, Coastal Resources Management Project, A R Amaratunga told Lanka Business Online.rn

rnA stockpile site in Crow Island, Mattakuliya, has already been lined up. An initial 2-mn cubic meters of sand is to be dredged under the project to supply the construction industry, Amaratunga says.rn

rnOver exploitation of river san