ALL quarry approvals in the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve have been processed according to established procedures, says the Selangor government in response to reports that plots of forest reserve were being sold for quarrying purposes.
In a statement, state tourism, environment, green technology and Orang Asli affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said all quarry approvals are given as small licences in accordance with Section 28, Selangor State Forestry Act (Adoption) Enactment 1985.
“The status of the land in the areas concerned still remains as a forest reserve.
“Regarding the advertisement for the sale of quarry land lots on a website, the Selangor Forestry Department (JPNS) denies any connection with the advertisement.”
He said that 28% of the entire forest reserve was developed for quarrying and seven quarrying areas (215.64ha) were approved by the Selangor state executive council between 1992 and 2000, and 19 areas (800.50 hectares) were approved from 2018 2019.
“This approval was issued for the purpose of covering the need for rock materials for development in the state of Selangor and in the Klang Valley.
The approval of the new quarry areas (19 quarries) is to replace the old quarries that will expire in the near future from 2023.”
“The implementation of the development of this quarry is done according to certain time frames for the purpose of controlling the impact on the environment in addition to avoiding market issues of stone material.”
Hee added that production output is determined based on research and discussion with all parties involved and in this case, also taking into consideration factors not to affect the nearby Orang Asli settlement.
He also said that forest reserves in the state of Selangor since 2008 have increased by 3.5%, from 241,568.30ha in 2008 to 250,250.33ha in 2021, which is an increase of 6,862ha of forest reserves.
“Every quarrying operation in the reserved forest area is in compliance with all the conditions that have been set by technical departments such as the Minerals and Geosciences Department, Environment Department, the Occupational Safety and Health Department as well as local authorities before and during the quarrying operation.
Furthermore, the conducting and approval of an Environmental Impact Assessment and Quarry Scheme Report are also mandatory before any quarrying activity commences.
Monitoring by JPNS and related agencies are also carried out to ensure that there is no violation of conditions or regulations.