SHAH ALAM: Developers are increasingly resorting to double submissions of applications to get their projects started before obtaining the environmental impact assessment (EIA) approval, according to a senior government official.
The Sepang Gold Coast project and the U10 housing development near Taman Pertanian Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam were examples of such a trend, the official said.
He said the culprits included companies owned by the Selangor state government.
The developers submit applications to the local authorities to start earthworks at project sites and at the same time submit the EIA to the Department of Environment for approval, the official said when interviewed.
Some local authorities were known to have issued the permits even without the approval because they assumed it was only a matter of time for the EIA to be approved, he said.
In some cases, the local authority heads approved the work permits because they were informed by higher authorities that the projects were important, sensitive or crucial to state development, he added.
It had been reported that the Sepang district council, despite knowing that the EIA approval had not yet been obtained for the Sepang Goldcoast project, had issued a temporary permit allowing piling work for the construction of six water villas as show units.
The project was deemed an important scheme to boost Selangors attraction as a holiday destination.
The official also said it was an irony that the local authorities, which headed the environment supervision at district level, were also the parties issuing the permits.