Factory given three days to prove structures at site were built legally

THOROUGH CHECKS: DOE officers (in blue) collected water and effluent samples from factories operating along Sungai Gong in Rawang during an inspection to determine proper waste management. This follows the closure of a nearby factory that was alleged to be the cause of the recent river pollution that led to thousands of homes and businesses in Klang Valley going without water since Friday. AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

THE heavy machinery maintenance factory at the Sungai Gong Industrial Area in Rawang alleged to have caused the recent river pollution that led to the sudden water cuts on Thursday has been issued a notice for constructing structures without Selayang Municipal Council’s (MPS) approval.

According to the local authority, the owners had three days to show proof that they had obtained approvals from the council to build structures on the land or conduct business at the factory.

Failing which, MPS would carry out demolition of the structures at the factory.

MPS Corporate Communications director Mohamad Zin Masoad said this was one of the actions that could be taken against illegal factories and other businesses in the municipality.

“Based on our records, this factory has been operating since 2014 and was involved in the maintenance of heavy machinery, ” he told a media conference yesterday.

He also said that in a census carried out since 2012,308 unlicensed factories were identified in their jurisdiction, from a total of 5,821 factories.

“Of the 308, only 50 operators had legalised their businesses, while the rest have not.

“In line with the Selangor government’s directive, we are carrying out a programme to legalise operations, ” he said during a joint operation to check factories in Rawang.

Mohamad Zin said in the case of the factory said to be involved in the odour pollution, the operators had failed to make attempts to legalise their operations nor obtained approval to build structures on the land.

“We issued them with a compound in March this year for carrying out business without a licence but they continued to operate, ” he said.

MPS Enforcement Department director Norhayati Ahmad added that the operators had not cooperated with enforcement officers during follow-up checks.

“They would not allow our officers to enter the premises,” she said.

During the operation, 15 factories operating along or near Sungai Gong were inspected by the authorities, including the Gombak District and Land Office and Department of Environment (DOE).

Of the 15 factories, four had their licences revoked for conducting additional activities without approval while one office business was found to be operating without a licence.

All action was taken under Trade, Business and Industry (MPS) 2007 by-law.

The notice was served under Section 70 (1) of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 for building structures without approval.

On the factory legalisation programme, Mohamad Zin said a briefing session with the operators involved would be carried out this Friday.

“This will be their last chance at legalising their businesses before we take action.

“We will brief them on the procedure and guidelines needed, as well as direct them to other agencies such as the DOE and

Fire and Rescue Department, if needed.

“At our level, we have made the application process easier. So there is no reason for them to not apply,” he said.

Last week, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari instructed the owners of the factory suspected of being the source of the odour pollution that caused four Sungai Selangor water treatment plants (LRA) to suspend operations.

Over 1.2 million residents in the Klang Valley have had to cope without water for a few days.

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