GEORGE TOWN: Mitigation works on Bukit Relau, infamously known as Botak Hill after a section of its top slope was cleared in 2013, is scheduled to be completed by October.
The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) said the mitigation works started in April and was expected to be completed in six months.
The council said it had endorsed the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan (ESCP) and slope strengthening design to mitigate landslips and pollution caused by mud flow based on the proposal by the geotechnical consultant appointed by General Accomplish-ment Sdn Bhd which owns the cleared site.
MBPP said the mitigation plan was vetted by the state’s Hillside Geotechnical Advisory Panel chairman Dr Gue See Sew.
General Accomplishment was fined RM30,000 by a Sessions Court here in July 2013 after a represen-tative pleaded guilty on behalf of the company to clearing the 22.89ha site between April 24 and May 8 the same year without obtaining written approval from then Penang Municipal Council (MPPP).
The offence under Section 70 A of the Street, Drainage and Buildings Act 1974 carries a maximum five-year imprisonment or maximum RM50,000 fine, or both.
MBPP said in a statement yesterday that the mitigation measures include the building of a few catchment and sedimentation ponds along the access route to the site, cutting the slope to reduce its steepness and covering the exposed slope with vegetation.
The council said the works also involved the building of cascading drains along the access route to dissipate the energy of surface runoff and mitigate soil erosion.
Several residents living nearby had earlier this month raised their concern after seeing earthworks being done at the site.
MBPP said the land cutting was done to allow access for heavy vehicles and to carry out rock blasting.
It said huge boulders needed to be removed to ensure a safe route and for the mitigation works to proceed, adding that the rock blasting was approved by the Minerals and Geoscience Depart-ment and police.
MBPP said it would continue to monitor the works to ensure that it was carried out in accordance with the approved mitigation plan.
It said grass had been planted on the access route to prevent erosion and that more plants could now be seen on the cleared slope.
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