At loggerheads over road


  • Nation
  • Monday, 23 Jan 2006

GERIK: Some 1,000 residents of Kampung Ulu Kenderong and Kampung Tanjung Kala here are upset that lorries transporting logs out of the nearby Bintang Hijau Forest Reserve were allowed to pass through their villages. 

Meanwhile, the firm awarded the logging concession claims it is losing a bundle because it has been barred from using the road running through the two villages following the residents' protest. 

Kampung Tanjung Kala head Mohd Hassan Othman said he learnt that the lorries had approval to use the road in June. 

“I wrote to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali to protest against the move,” he said on Saturday. 

Tajol Rosli had indicated that he did not agree with the move, he added. 

The village road, Mohd Hassan said, was too narrow for lorries. 

“We are worried about the safety of the villagers,” he said. 

A villager, who wanted to be known only as Fauzi, said the lorries posed danger, especially to women, who normally rode their motorcycles to the market, and children, who usually cycled to school. 

The company's spokesman Adam Haris said it was now in a dilemma. 

“Initially, we were given the go-ahead by the district forestry officer and the Public Works Department (JKR) to use the road,” he said. 

“But following protests from the villagers, we have been barred.”  

He said the only alternative was to use the uncompleted Kupang-Gerik Highway, which was almost two years behind schedule. 

“We are fast running out of time. The company has already suffered losses of some RM1.5mil,” he said, adding that the 80ha concession was for a year, starting last June. 

Perak JKR director Wong Wai Ching said he would look into the company's claim that it had approval to use the road. 

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