Johor health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said the matter was currently still under discussion and was put on hold due to the movement control order (MCO).
“We will conduct a study on the matter and proceed after MCO is lifted,” he said.
The rehabilitation plan was announced by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad last month.
He said the programme was to ensure pollution does not recur and to keep rivers clean,” he said.
Taman Pasir Putih Pollution Case action committee deputy chairman Mohd Rafee Abdullah, 47, said he had personally conducted monthly checks on the river after the cleaning-up process was completed in August last year.
“The last time I went there was on March 31. So far, based on my observation some black spots can still be seen downstream at the part of the river flowing towards the river mouth. I believe the continuous downpours a few months ago pushed down the pollution from upstream,” he said, adding that the soil on the riverbank had also turned black as oil and chemicals has permeated into it.
He said the clean-up which started in March was completed in August last year, and was followed by regular checks and monitoring by the local authority for a period of time.
“The smell of chemicals is still in the air here although factories have stopped operations due to the MCO,” he said, adding that he had not spotted any fish in the river.
Southern Johor Fishermen Association chairman Azli Aziz said there was no fish or other marine life upstream as the pollution had reached here.
“Fishermen usually go during high tide to catch prawns and crabs at the river mouth, where the river meets the sea.
“We have about 30 fishermen who actively catch fish in the area. The majority are Orang Asli from Kampung Telok Abong as their boats are small and cannot go further out,” he said.
Azli said he passed by the river daily as he goes out to catch fish further west at Sungai Johor.
“The river mouth of Sungai Kim Kim is clean, only the area further upstream is dirty,” he added.
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