KUALA LUMPUR: Local governments are not doing enough to clean up the rivers, says Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister said it was challenging working with them but declined to elaborate why.
“We can’t deal with them,” he said, adding that he would instead write to the Local Government Minister to sort out the matter.
Palanivel said it was important for the local councils and municipal councils to work with the authorities, especially on cleaning up polluted rivers.
“It’s bad. In Cameron Highlands, the water is polluted. This is the same with Pahang, Penang and even the rivers in Selangor are heavily polluted,” he said after launching World Water Day celebrations at the Drainage and Irrigation Department office here yesterday.
Palanivel said that people’s attitude should change too.
“Everyone throws rubbish into the river,” he said, adding that it was becoming a major issue.
He said river cleaning activities were ongoing throughout the country but the people kept dumping more rubbish there.
On a separate issue, Palanivel said that 6,000 trees had been planted in Cameron Highlands to rebuild the destroyed forest reserve areas there.
“We may start another tree planting project soon.”
Landslides and floods have been a major issue in Cameron Highlands due to excessive clearing of land for illegal farming.
Bernama also quoted Palanivel as saying that the River Of Life project, which is part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur Project, was 56% completed since it started in 2011.
The project aimed to change the image of Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang so that it would send out a positive impact.
World Water Day is marked on March 22 every year. This year’s theme is “Water and Sustainable Development”.