ISKANDAR PUTERI, For a few Kampung Sungai Melayu folks who had been concerned over a piece of vacant land being turned into a dumpsite for construction wastes, the problem has been solved with the closure of the site today.
A check at the area found the site, situated next to a nursery and a residential house, filled with construction wastes and open burning residues.
However, about 15 minutes later several officers from SWCorp were seen cordoning off the dumpsite with yellow barrier tapes stamped with the words “restricted waste dumping area.”
In addition, SWCorp also placed a signboard at the site, warning people against dumping wastes at the area.
When met, Kampung Sungai Melayu headman Amir Shah Ariffin said the site was actually not a dumpsite as claimed, but the landowner had taken in the construction wastes to fill and level the plot for agricultural purposes.
“The land is filled with rocky patches and old ponds so we have used the wastes to level the land because apart from posing a risk for children, the stagnant pools are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
“Moreover we plan to develop the land and expand agricultural activities there, told reporters at the site.
However, he said he would abide by SWCorp’s decision to close the site and would remove all wastes which had been dumped there.
“I am responsible because I allowed them to fill the land. SWCorp had also stated that what we did was against the law, I was not aware of this.
“I thought it was alright to go ahead with it as this is our land. Now that SWCorp has cordoned off the area I shall inform the landowner accordingly and from now on we will help monitor illegal dumping activities here,” he said.
Meanwhile, state SWCorp director Cairul Hisham Jalaluddin in a statement today confirmed the move was made after monitoring the site and following public complaints received yesterday.
Cairul said further investigations would be made under Section 71 of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) which carries a fine of not less than RM10,000 and not more than RM100,000 or/and imprisonment of not less from six months and not exceeding 5 years, if convicted.
He added that landowners should obtain approval to carry out land reclamation from the Department of National Solid Waste Management if they intend to use construction wastes or seek approval from the Land Office if soil is used to fill the land.
As such he advised residents against dumping garbage at unauthorised location even for reclamation purposes and to lodge a complaint directly to SWCorp if they suspect any individual committing such an offence.
He said garbage could only be disposed at landfill sites which have been gazetted by the government adding that for Johor Bahru and Kulai areas the waste disposal site is at Seelong Sanitary landfill area.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)