HIKING hotspot Broga Hill will be temporarily closed until further notice to enable restoration works to be carried out on its slopes.
Hikers and visitors have been advised against entering the trail as it would be dangerous with the ground unsuitable for hiking.
Unauthorised slope clearing and terracing works were carried out at the site by the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) on behalf of the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa).
At a press conference at Broga Hill, Selangor Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) decided to close the trail following a meeting held the previous day.
“Jakoa wrote a letter giving permission to Risda to plant rubber trees here, which, according to Jakoa, was for the economy of the orang asli in Kampung Orang Asli Broga.
“They did not inform the land office or the state government before terracing the hills,” she said.
Wong added that Risda attempted to apply for permission for the terracing last year but was rejected. It then found a loophole this year and moved forward quickly.
“Jakoa and Risda have been severely reprimanded as they did not follow the proper procedure,” she said.
Investigations into the issue began in July after local authorities in Hulu Langat and the state government received multiple complaints from hikers after seeing the terracing works being carried out.
Restoration will begin as soon as possible, and this will include building berm drains to prevent rainwater from eroding the loose soil on the terraced slopes and planting of pearl grass for landslide prevention.
Stepping stones and climbing ropes placed along the trail will also be repaired and replaced during the hill’s closure.
The whole restoration project is estimated to cost RM1mil, and will take about three to five months to complete.
“We are worried about the safety of visitors and the stability of the ground.
“We received reports that even after placing a warning sign at the entrance, visitors still tried to climb the trail,” Wong said.
“We hope hikers will abide by the warning, and they are welcome to hike at Melati Hill in Nilai for the time being,” she added.