People, Environment

Tehran Gravel Pits Shut

Tehran Gravel Pits ShutTehran Gravel Pits Shut

All activities in the Iranian capital’s gravel pits located in District 18 (southwest) have been stopped until relevant organizations address the site’s environmental issues.

Earlier this month, Rahmatollah Hafezi, who chairs the Environment and Health Commission at the Tehran City Council, said due to the sites numerous environmental problems, the commission was in talks with the judiciary to halt activities at the gravel pits.

Afterward, provincial environment and judiciary officials visited the pits and tasked the commission with preparing a report of the site, outlining its dangers to the local community and environment.

“The Tehran Governorate has issued an order to suspend gravel extraction until the problems are fixed,” Hafezi was quoted as saying by ILNA.

According to the councilman, the pits are about 138 meters deep; roughly four times deeper than the 35 meters permitted by law.

To make matters worse, many of the pits are located within four meters of Kan Creek.

“If the river overflows, the ensuing damage could very well extend to Mehrabad Airport,” Hafezi said.  Located less than 10 kilometers northeast of the gravel pits, Mehrabad Airport is the busiest domestic airport in the country in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movement.

“The regional water authority will oversee measures aimed at preventing possible damage from the river’s flooding,” he added.