Old Gombak road turning into eyesore


Dr Salleh (left) and a friend surveying one of many illegal rubbish dumpsite along the old Gombak road.

I AM deeply distressed and angry by the irresponsible behaviour of those who are disposing of domestic and industrial wastes along the old Gombak road from Hospital Orang Asli Gombak in Selangor to the junction leading to Bukit Tinggi in Pahang.

This scenic stretch used by motorists, cyclists and nature seekers alike has been tarnished by numerous illegal rubbish dumpsites.

The road is a favourite place among bird watchers and identified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.

It is also popular as a training spot for ultra marathon runners.

It is reported that every morning around 7.30am, three hornbills fly past this road, while larger animals have also been sighted with the most common being monkeys and macaques.

These animals, of course, scavenge the rubbish dumped along the road for food.

At the invitation of a concerned former Forestry Department colleague, I took a drive along the road recently and was truly saddened by what I saw.

I also met a doctor who expressed his disappointment at the state of the road which he used frequently.

I found that there were about a dozen abandoned cars and nearly 20 rubbish dumpsites along the roadside.

The rubbish dumped comprised mainly plastic bottles, old plastic bags and a variety of wooden and metallic materials.

On closer inspection, I found that much of the rubbish had been pushed into the ravine below which I am sure would end up in streams and rivers.

I have travelled along this road many times in the past and even wrote about the problem to the press and relevant authorities.

However, it is apparent that nothing much has been done. In fact, the problem has become worse.

I also found seven cow carcasses dumped at two sites along the roadside.

This is truly an irresponsible and illegal act.

Who maintains this road which passes through a forest reserve?

Something truly needs to be done urgently to rehabilitate this scenic road.

I wish to propose the following measures:

• The authorities should immediately remove the carcasses and clear the dumpsites.

• Closed-circuit television cameras should be installed at strategic places to catch and penalise offenders.

• The Forestry Department should join forces with the local authorities to monitor the road daily, including on weekends and public holidays.

• A “Friends of Old Gombak Road” should be formed to safeguard the beauty of this scenic road.

TAN SRI DR SALLEH MOHD NOR

Past President of Malaysian Nature Society

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