Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Forced to breathe in fumes from factory

Choong Ho (on motorcycle) is worried the waste material from the factory that is placed next to his house in Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh may be flammable. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

Choong Ho (on motorcycle) is worried the waste material from the factory that is placed next to his house in Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh may be flammable. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

KAMPUNG Baru Sungai Buloh villagers living next to a tyre reprocessing factory want the operator to relocate, claiming that it is a health hazard.

Villager Wong Choong Ho, who lives next to the factory, said his two grandchildren were affected by fumes from the factory and the family had been to the doctors about 20 times since the factory began operations last December.

“We never had problems with the factories that previously operated next to our house, but this one is emitting foul-smelling fumes and ash.

“Earlier, ash from the factory would settle on our laundry. There is less ash now but the odour persists,” said Choong Ho.

Alan Wong, 61, used to live two doors away from the factory with his 90-year-old godmother, but has relocated for fear that fumes from the factory would endanger their health.

“I would feel nauseous and dizzy from fumes emitted from the factory. My godmother’s health had deteriorated since the factory began operations.

“The factory operator said he will relocate but nothing has happened yet,” he said.

Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) member Phang Foot Keong questioned if the factory had a licence and Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC).

“Most factories here are of the medium industry type such as furniture factories.

“This tyre reprocessing factory is categorised as heavy industry and should not operate near a residential area,” he said.

Phang said complaints he received from the residents a week ago had been forwarded to Selangor Local Government, New Village Development and Legalising of Factories Committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah, Selangor Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong, Shah Alam mayor Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

A factory representative, who declined to be named, said the operator was willing to hold a discussion with villagers for an amicable solution.

“Some villagers are hostile when they confront us. We are willing to have a calm discussion and take necessary steps to find a solution.

“When we first moved here, we thought this was industrial land and were not aware that people were living next to the factory.

“It is just strong smell, the fumes are not toxic,” the representative assured.

He said the factory operated Mondays to Saturdays from 8.30am to 5pm, and the hours were extended to 8pm occasionally if it needed to rush production.

However, Choong Ho’s daughter, Jessie, claimed that she had video evidence that the factory was operating until 10pm and also almost every Sunday.

“My mother has asthma and the fumes sting our eyes. We keep our doors and windows closed and yet I have to wipe off the ash daily,” she said.

She also said that on June 12, waste material from the factory was placed in an area next to their house.

“When we complained, the factory operator promised to move it the next day but all it did was cover the waste with a tarpaulin sheet. The waste is still there and we worry it might be flammable,” she added.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh , New Village , Tyre , Factory , Heavy Industrial , Environment Department


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