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Monday February 24, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday February 24, 2014 MYT 10:16:13 AM
by sheila sri priya
The fire raged for nine hours before it was doused.
THE problem of illegal dumping on the banks of Sungai Kelang is now compounded by mounds of burnt rubbish left at the site.
A source from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) said it was up to Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) and the Land Office to clear the site now.
The source added that MBPJ could not take any action because it was private land.
A fire broke out on Saturday evening at the illegal dumpsite, which took firefighters up to nine hours to douse the blaze.
Penchala fire station chief Zaidi Ahtan said it was mostly construction waste that was being burned.
“The mountain of trash had to be flattened to ensure our firemen could properly put out the fire,” Zaidi said.
Some 17 firefighters together with six MBPJ officers from the Quick Response Team were involved in the operation.
A source from MBPJ said three tractors were used.
It has been two weeks since StarMetro first published the story but no official statement has been given by the relevant authorities.
Taman Medan assemblyman Haniza Talha wants swift enforcement action to be taken to prevent unscrupulous characters from dumping more waste into Sungai Kelang and damaging its river bank.
Hanizah was commenting on StarMetro’s recent report on the dumping of waste into the river at Petaling Jaya Selatan (PJS).
The illegal activity has been going on for more than a decade.
Up to 40 lorries have been going into the area daily to dump rubbish, especially construction waste.
The authorities have been blamed for passing the buck and not taking action on the matter.
It was also reported that an MBPJ source said the authorities were scared to put a stop to the illegal dumping of waste into Sungai Kelang after being threatened.
The source said they had been warned by those conducting the illegal activity to “not mess” with them.
It is learned the land where domestic and construction waste was being dumped is privately owned.
Haniza said the dumping of the waste into the river had worsened over the past two years.
A meeting was held at state level chaired by state secretary Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi on Feb 2 to discuss the issue.
“The state has decided to remove some of the waste from the site and cover the land with soil.
“However, I am not sure when that will take place.
“I have been complaining to the authorities for the past two years as the situation has worsened.
“The Petaling Land Office issued a notice to all illegal operators at the site to stop their activities and to relocate elsewhere,” said Haniza.
However, enforcement action has been slow and the dumping of the waste at the river bank continues.
Haniza also hoped MBPJ would help relocate a drug addicts centre located nearby the river bank.
“The operators of the rehabilitation centre, monitored by the National Anti-Drug Agency, are doing a noble job.
“However, the centre is located on the river bank.
“It must also be relocated and the area must be cleared.
“The operators of the centre had applied to relocate to an abandoned hall in Jalan 230, Section 51A.
“The centre sent the application to MBPJ.
“We hope the relocation process can be smooth and fast,” she said.
Hanizah hoped the river bank, once cleared of its illegal occupants, would be cordoned off.
Former Petaling Jaya councillor Derek Fernandez said it was unacceptable that a government body could be ‘intimidated’ by a group of thugs dumping waste into the river.
He said those who were not doing their job should be removed.
“The river is under the state’s jurisdiction with the Land Office as its principal regulatory agency.
“Just work with the police and seize the lorries that are dumping the waste and prosecute the companies that hired them,” he said.
Fernandez said CCTV cameras must be installed at the site after the area was cleared of illegal activities.
“All sources of river pollution must be identified.
“However, if there is no will by the authorities then no amount of law and advice will work,” he added.
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