IPOH: The names and identity card numbers of hikers at Gunung Kenderong in Grik will recorded to keep track of those who carelessly leave behind objects that may start fires easily.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said he hoped that the hikers would be careful now that their details were going to be recorded.
“It will be easier to keep track of those going up the hill. Another benefit is that the authorities can immediately mount search and rescue efforts if hikers are lost on the hill,” he said after handing out letters of appointment to members of the state Unity Advisory Committee here yesterday.
Among those who received their letters of appointment were state Consumer Affairs and Unity Committee chairman Datuk G. Rajoo and 23 district officers.
Tajol Rosli said hikers should carry water in plastic containers instead of metal containers as they could set dry leaves and grass on fire when they became too hot.
“However, this does not mean that the recent fire at Gunung Kenderong was due to human error,” he added.
A forest fire burnt for 12 days and destroyed 160ha of vegetation and trees at the 1,223m-high Gunung Kenderong, about 18km from Grik. The rain finally put it out on Feb 17 but the fire recurred last week.
Yesterday, a special team comprising 130 firemen from Perak, Kedah and Penang including Internal Security officers contained the fire to a 5ha-area.
On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s call to state governments to monitor the activities of developers to prevent unscrupulous clearing of hill slopes, Tajol Rosli said the Perak government only allowed projects that had passed the Department of Environment's Environmental Impact Assessment.
He added that the state government had tightened approval of new quarry licences to ensure there was no unscrupulous clearing that could turn the hills in Perak into eyesores.
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