Preserving geological attractions

Nolee Ashilin (second from right) looking at the Ipoh Local Draft Plan 2035 with Ipoh mayor Datuk Rumaizi Bahrin (left) and PLANMalaysia deputy director (planning) Mohamad Faidzal Hamzah. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

LIMESTONE hills in Ipoh will be preserved and managed by the government under the Ipoh Local Plan 2035 (ILP).

Perak local government and tourism committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said the limestone hills within the city — which encompasses an area of about 3,000ha — would be placed under conservation projects.

“Most of the areas are still untouched and we realise how important it is to geo-tourism.

“We made some adjustments to the initial plan, to ensure the limestone hills and structures are preserved,” she said in a press conference after the Ipoh Local Draft Plan 2035 was opened for public viewing in Ipoh.

“Fragile areas as well as those at risk will also be monitored to ensure only low-risk activities are allowed to support the development of sustainable ecotourism,” she said, adding that there were also plans to gazette Kinta Valley National Geopark.

Nolee Ashilin said other plans in the ILP included improving the city’s transport system by adding a light rail transit project.

“Although it is a popular destination among domestic tourists, Ipoh has yet to attract many international tourists.

“To draw more visitors, we plan to improve the transport system to provide wider accessibility so that tourists can explore the city easily.

“This includes a light rail transit network around the city working in tandem with bus and tram routes and a taxi network,” she said, believing that the flagship project would help reduce traffic and encourage property development.

Nolee Ashilin also launched the “Greater Ipoh Tourism Region Rebranding and Action Plan”, whereby several local councils would collaborate on a wider scope.

“Ipoh City Council will team up with Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council, Kampar District Council and Batu Gajah District Council to bring tourist attractions in these areas under the Ipoh banner.

“Apart from that, I was told that PLANMalaysia has also submitted its final report on ‘Localising Food Trails’, where it lists all the food attractions in Ipoh,” she said, and hoped that this would further develop the food tourism industry in Perak.

She named rendang tok mak nik, kacang putih, white coffee, pomelo and salted chicken as some food specialities of Perak.

“We also have old-school shops, boutique hotels, mural art, street performers and an antique market, which sets Ipoh apart from other cities.

“Another reason tourists keep coming back to Ipoh is for our hipster cafes that appeal to the younger generation,” Nolee Ashilin added.

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