IPOH, Jan 22 — Perak Health, Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman Mohd Akmal Kamarudin today claimed that the Tanjung Batu Waterfall in Manjung was not damaged by quarry activities being carried out in the area.
Mohd Akmal said the waterfall has not been affected at all as it is located about one kilometre away from the quarry site, which was given license to operate.
“The affected area which went viral on social media actually comprise seasonal waterways that occur during the rainy season due to a water reservoir located in an area as high as 200 meters within the licensed area in Compartment 16 (Block E) Segari Melintang Forest Reserve,” he said in a short statement posted on Facebook.
Mohd Akmal said based on the report presented during the coordination and monitoring meeting over the issue held today at the State Secretariat Building, the area was given a Small License to carry out quarry activities in 2014.
“Approval of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was obtained on October 2, 2017, and the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the project was approved on October 25, the following year.
“The Quarry Scheme Approval Letter (SKSK) was issued on February 1, 2019,” he added.
The meeting was attended by State Forestry Department director Datuk Mohamed Zin Yusop, Irrigation and Drainage Department director Datuk Ahmad Anuar Othman, Environment Department director Rosli Zul, Manjung Police District Chief ACP Nor Omar Sappi, Department of Minerals and Geosciences Perak deputy director Tan Hai Hong and the Environment and Water Ministry’s political secretary Mohd Zuhdi Marsuki.
However, Mohd Akmal said the initial investigation has revealed that the quarry operator did violate some of the EIA requirements.
“The violation includes not appointing a certified environmental officer (EO), which led to the failure to control erosion and sediment at the project site,” he said.
Following the violation, Mohd Akmal said a prohibition and a stop-work order was issued to the quarry operator on Wednesday under Section 34 AA of the Environment Quality Act 1974.
“All development work has stopped, and the operator has been instructed to carry out upgrading and remedial works at the seasonal waterways there,” he said.
He said action will be taken if the operator fails to carry out remedial works.
He said that the state government has also instructed the responsible parties to carry out cleaning and rehabilitation work immediately in the affected areas.
“We expect it will take about two weeks to complete. We just want to remind the public that if they find any machinery moving around the quarry it is for the cleaning and restoration works,” he said.
Mohd Akmal stressed that the state government is committed and concerned in maintaining the sustainability of the environment and also the rivers in the state.
Recently, environmental groups and citizens shared the damaged and polluted picture of the waterfall and blamed the authorities for allowing quarry activities in the forest reserve.