GEORGE TOWN: The state has been urged to speed up the implementation of the latest Penang Quarry Rules to curb rampant quarrying works.
The Seberang Prai Municipal Council said the present rules were not effective enough to monitor quarry sites in the state.
Council secretary Rozali Mohamud called for the latest Penang Quarry Rules, which is under review of the state’s legal adviser, to be expedited.
On June 23, The Star highlighted Kampung Masjid villagers’ grouses against a quarry in Batu Kawan which they claimed had been in operation for more than 10 years and “every year it only gets worse.”
It has been reported that rampant quarrying works were also carried out in Juru, Bukit Tambun, Batu Kawan, Berapit, Kubang Semang and Simpang Empat on the mainland.
The quarry materials (rocks and sand) extracted from the mainland were reportedly sent to the island to cater to the rapid development there.
In his report to state exco member Chow Kon Yeow on the issue, Rozali said quarrying on the above-mentioned sites were approved by the council and had obtained 4C permit required under the National Land Code for quarry licences.
He said the council was monitoring 34 quarry sites on the main-land, of which 13 sites had either ceased or temporarily stopped operation, while 21 others were still active.
“In general, we have been monitoring quarrying activities in terms of road cleanliness leading to the sites, erosion, siltation and drainage,” he said.
He added that the Minerals and Geoscience Department Malaysia would monitor the blasting activities while the surrounding environment concerning noise, dust, air and water quality of quarries would be under the purview of the Department of Environment.
Rozali said there were still fresh applications from developers and landowners to carry out quarrying activities.
Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto, who met with Penang Development Corporation representatives yesterday, declined to comment.
She said she would check with state secretary Datuk Farizan Darus if the district officers (DOs) had concluded anything with him.
Farizan, who could not be reached for comment, had earlier been quoted by an English daily that he would summon the DOs to brief him on the excavations in their districts.