Friday, September 11, 2009

Sand-washing activities upset residents

Work in progress: Residents say the drains are clogged because of the sand washing, and the lorries and machinery also cause noise pollution.
Source: The Star Online >Central, 7.9.2009. By BAVANI M
Residents living in and around Jalan Udang Kepai in Taman Segambut Dalam are questioning the legality of a company that is conducting sand-washing activities in their neighbourhood. They claim that the sand-washing work is polluting the air in the area and the nearby Sungai Keroh. A resident, Mohamad Ishak, said the work was also causing a foul smell to pervade the neighbourhood due to stagnant rain water trapped in drains. “The drains are clogged because of the sand and the trapped water smells bad after several days,” he said, adding that he was worried that this would contaminate the river as well. Azlan Abdul Majid, a committee member of the nearby Masjid Al Qurtubi, said the smell would worsen right after a downpour. “The machines used to wash the sand also create a lot of noise and this is disrupting the peace in the neighbourhood,” he added. “The lorries moving in and out of the area bearing sand, too, are very noisy and the work goes on from 7am to 7pm daily,” lamented Nurul Izzah Ishak, another resident.
The residents had sought help from Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng to resolve the issue and at a press conference on Friday, Lim invited a representative from the sand-washing company to address some of the concerns raised by residents. The representative from the company, Soh Bok Woo, said the activity was legal as he had got a permit from the Land Office to carry out work at the site. “Our permit is renewed every two months and we pay a royalty of RM9,000 each time we renew it. “Let’s be clear here. We are not doing sand mining; we are doing sand washing,’’ Soh said, adding that the sand was mined elsewhere. Soh insisted that work was only conducted from 8am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays.
The residents, however, were not convinced and wanted Lim to find out more about what was going on at the site. Lim promised to look into the matter and said he would write to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) as soon as possible for further details. “We need to clear the air on this issue. I had written a letter to the DBKL last month, requesting for details of the work, but only received an acknowledgement letter from them and no details were given,” Lim said, adding that he would try to find out more in order to come up with a win-win solution for all parties concerned.

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