People, Environment

Halting Tehran Gravel Mining Not Enough

Halting Tehran Gravel Mining Not EnoughHalting Tehran Gravel Mining Not Enough

The mere closure of gravel mining sites in southwestern Tehran is not enough to ensure an end to the pollution caused by such sites, the Iranian capital’s chief environment official said.

Tehran Governorate issued an order in May to suspend gravel extraction from sites in Tehran’s District 18, following complaints by Rahmatollah Hafezi, who chairs the Environment and Health Commission at the Tehran City Council.

The mining sites, which are said to be four times deeper than the 35 meters allowed by law, are located within four meters of Kan Creek, ISNA reported.

According to Hafezi, if the river floods, the ensuing damage could very well extend to Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport.  

Located less than 10 kilometers northeast of the gravel sites, Mehrabad Airport is the busiest domestic airport in the country in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movement.

“Simply halting activities will not help address the problems,” says Mohammad Hossein Bazgir, the head of Tehran office of the Department of Environment.

“The entire mining site has to be repurposed, because as things stand, we haven’t reinforced anything.”

Experts and officials, including Hafezi and Bazgir, are of the opinion that the region should be completely repurposed into a recreational facility or even a park to counter Tehran’s dwindling green spaces.

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