Friday, July 3, 2009

Close cement-mixing plant, say residents

Source: (By Jade Chan, 2 July 2009)
KAMPUNG Segambut Luar residents want the authorities to shut down a cement-mixing plant that has been operating behind their village for the past five years, and hope they would be compensated for the damage to their homes. Resident Adnan Abdul Aziz, 45, said the plant operated round-the- clock throughout the week. “The machines run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which has resulted in us having difficulty sleeping. “We also have to endure the dust pollution that dirties our homes,” said Adnan, who grew up in the village in Kuala Lumpur. “The plant’s poor drainage system has worsened the flood problems in our village. While it used to flood only when there is a downpour, it now floods even when there is a light rain.” Adnan said the village, which had 40 houses, was flooded five times over the past month and the floodwaters went up to as high as 0.6m. “Our houses have cracks and are damaged as a result of the constant cement-mixing activities and floods. “We are also worried about our health due to the pollution and clogged drainage system. One resident even died from dengue three years ago,” he said. “The residents have met the plant supervisor who said he didn’t have the authority to stop the operations. We have complained to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) but no action has been taken.” The residents also claimed that the plant in Jalan Segambut had been conducting its cement-mixing operations for the construction of the Duke Highway.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said he received complaints about the cement-mixing plant a few months ago and upon investigation discovered that the privately-owned land had been sublet. “The landowner had signed a tenancy agreement to a company owned by a datuk, who in turn, sublet the plot of land to a tenant who built the cement-mixing plant,” said Lim, adding that the plot was formerly a mining land that had been converted into a parking space for lorries. “The landowner informed me that he had earlier sent a letter through his lawyer asking the tenant to tear down the plant. When I questioned why he didn’t take court action, he cited the high cost and long duration (of settling the case in court) as his reasons. “The landowner plans to not renew the tenancy agreement once it expires in March next year (March 2010).” Lim said the cement-mixing plant was illegal as it did not have the licence and approval to conduct such operations. He also questioned why the DBKL did not take any action despite issuing a “final reminder” notice dated Sept 18 last year to the landowner to destroy, shift and transfer the cement-mixing machine and related operation structures, equipment and vehicles from the site. “I have written to DBKL deputy director-general Datuk Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz to ask for an explanation as to why the illegal activity is still ongoing despite the 14-day notice that was issued last year, and to request for enforcement action to be taken immediately,” said Lim.

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