THE Perak Government has been urged to review its policy on rock blasting activities at limestone quarries in the Keramat Pulai Industrial Area.
A marble and granite director said these activities were a cause for concern, not only to his employees but also to the motorists that ply along Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands.
The director, who declined to be named, said a single blast would send stone fragments flying in all directions.
“Unfortunately, my factory is situated nearby a quarry.
“My premises sustain damage whenever a blast occurs,” he told MetroPerak.
“I am also concerned that the blasts would cause a rockslide, especially at the part of the hill next to a road,” he said, adding that the rock blasting activities take place at least once a month.
“The blasts would cause vibrations and it could destabilise the limestone hill,” he added.
It was reported in MetroPerak last year that rock blasting activities at a quarry in the area had caused anxiety amongst workers at a marble and granite factory there.
The state Mineral and Geosciences Department had confirmed that the rock blasting activities were authorised and were always monitored by officials and consultants.
The director said he did not understand how rock blasting activities could be held so near to a road.
“Each blast can send stones flying over 100m. I’ve seen some stones landing on the road.
“The road to Cameron Highlands is used by thousands of drivers daily. Even if the road was barricaded before each blasting activity, it is still dangerous,” he said.
Such activity would have been halted long ago in other countries if it was deemed unsafe, he added.
The director said he has also seen stones falling from the side of the limestone hill there.
“I am just afraid that a huge rock would fall onto unsuspecting motorists.
“I strongly urge the government to do a review before any untoward incidents occur and people are killed,” he said.
A stall owner, who also wished to remain anonymous, said he could feel tremors whenever rock blasting was done.
“Each time the blasts are held, we would be advised to stay far away.
“But so far, there has not been any incidents.
“To say I’m not worried about the rocks falling down on my stall would be a lie,” he said.
When met, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir assured that there would be careful deliberation before any rock blasting permits are approved and issued by the relevant authorities.
“It’s not easy to get the permits. The applicant has to go through numerous departments, including the land and mines office, the Fire and Rescue Department, Mineral and Geosciences Department, the police and the Department of Occupational Safety and Health,” he said.