THE delay in rehabilitating and redeveloping the former Jelutong landfill site is making residents in surrounding areas anxious and fearful, says a state MCA leader.
Penang MCA public service and complaints bureau deputy chief Francis Goh said the party had received complaints from residents about environmental pollution, especially the unbearable stench from the landfill.
“We are concerned about the delay in rehabilitating the landfill before construction of a mixed development project can go ahead at the site,” he said during a press conference near the landfill after meeting the residents association in the area.
“The delayed rehabilitation work has caused environmental and health problems due to the excavation work which emanates biogas.”
He said the problem became acute with the added stench from nearby sewage pipes, making living in the neighbourhood unbearable.
Goh said he would seek the assistance of environmental groups to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the landfill soon.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow had said in 2020 that the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the landfill was expected to take 15 years to be completed, with the developer bearing full cost.
State environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, when contacted by StarMetro, said the RM2.2bil project could not start as there were many issues involved which included obtaining an EIA report.
“There are stringent measures we need to follow, such as securing the parameters of slopes (as it was a dumpsite) from polluting the sea when creating a new waterfront,” he said.
He added that there was a further delay of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On claims that the redevelopment project might not proceed, Phee said the state would not bear any financial loss brought on by the delay of the project as all costs were borne by the developer.