KLUANG: The State Economic Planning Unit (Upen) has been tasked with coming out with a plan to clean and rehabilitate polluted rivers in Johor.
State Health, Environment, Educational and Information committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the directive was made at the state executive council meeting on Thursday.
Upen was told to coordinate with the relevant agencies when implementing its plan.
“We are focusing on rivers which are the main source of raw water supply to treatment plants,” said Ayub.
He said that among the 28 rivers categorised as polluted were Sungai Jibong, Sungai Singgol, Sungai Semenchu, Sungai Simpang Kanan, Sungai Sembrong and Sungai Kim.
Among the measures to be taken were relocating squatter settlements now at the river banks and shutting down illegal businesses operating near the rivers, he said.
He was speaking after attending the World Kidney Day 2017 state-level celebration at Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom yesterday.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had directed the state government and local authorities to come down hard on those polluting rivers.
The directive came after the Sultan made a spot check by boat along Sungai Tebrau with his son Tunku Panglima Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman on Wednesday.
The Ruler expressed his regret over the irresponsible dumping of rubbish into the river, saying that this was one of the main causes of floods in Johor Baru.
Ayub also said state authorities were closely monitoring the H1N1 avian flu outbreak in Kelantan although there were no cases reported in Johor.
Ayub said chickens and ducks here were safe for consumption and that the authorities were prepared, should there be an outbreak in the state.