“IT IS illegal,” that was the brief statement issued by Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz when asked to comment on the sand-washing activity going on at 3rd Mile off Jalan Kelang Lama.
“We are investigating. I have sent an enforcement team to check it out.
“For now, I can only tell you that it is a private land and preliminary reports from our experts say there is evidence of pollution,” said Amin Nordin.
“But as this involves three government agencies, I need to check who gave the permit to work. The company is not supposed to be carrying out sand washing in this location and even if it is allowed, it is subject to various limitations,” he added.
Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) river basin management division director Mohd Said Dikon said when it came to land matters, the Federal Territory Land and Mines Department was in charge.
“The activity carried out on that particular land shall be according to land conditions,” said Mohd Said.
“On our side, DID will provide technical input to be incorporated in the condition permit.
“On the effluent discharged into rivers in Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) may issue licence for the company to do so under the Water Act 1920. In this aspect, DID has no power,” he said.
The FT Land and Mines Department had issued a statement noting that based on a site visit by its enforcement team on Aug 27, there was no evidence that lorries were transporting sand in and out of the area.
“If there were lorries moving in and out, we can stop and check their content. But this is private land, so we are not allowed to enter and check,” said a member of the enforcement team, who did not wish to be identified.
“But it would seem that they were tipped off by someone because the site was empty of workers,” said the officer.
StarMetro reported recently that sand-washing activity on a piece of private land in 3rd Mile, Jalan Kelang Lama was causing numerous problems to the community living in and around the area.
Apart from noise and dust pollution, the residents are concerned about the Klang River, which they say is being polluted from the silt and sediment being released into the river.
“There is no signboard at the site informing people about the activity at the site. The sand washing is a nuisance to the people living and working there,” said a resident who only wished to be identified as Patrick.
“Our vehicles are always caked with dust and some of my workers are suffering from breathing problems,” said an employee of a car showroom in the area.
“This and the haze are affecting our health, someone should be held accountable,” added the staff who wished to remain anonymous.
StarMetro visited the site on Friday and it seemed that work had stopped. A few people were milling around but no one was working the machines.
Sand-mining and sand-washing operations are regulated in the country and require permits from the Land and Mines Department and the DID as well as the local authority.
However, many operators carry out such business illegally as it is a lucrative industry. The Klang River stretch along Jalan Kelang Lama is often the target of sand-washing activity and this is not the first time this has been reported.
Residents said they placed numerous calls to DBKL but were informed that it was under the Land Office’s jurisdiction.
StarMetro had previously exposed illegal sand-washing operations in other parts of Jalan Kelang Lama – one was on government land beside the Seri Anggerik People’s Housing Project (PPR) flats in Batu 4, Jalan Kelang Lama while another was in Taman Sri Manja.
The Federal Territories Ministry ordered a clampdown on the activity, with minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor issuing the closure order, as it went against the Government river cleaning projects.