ALOR SETAR: The state government should stop issuing new logging licences immediately, says Kedah Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Leong Yong Kong.
Dr Leong said enough clearing had been done and any more of such activities would harm the environment.
“My duty is to protect the environment. Enough of what has been cleared. We have huge backlog of approved licences and we can’t go on approving more.
“The state will have to pay a hefty price in the future for this,” he said yesterday.
Dr Leong added that it was a reality that the state was facing water scarcity and logging activities near the water catchment areas should be stopped.
He added that if there was a real need, the whole Ulu Muda forest reserve would be gazetted as a water catchment area to ensure that there would be no more encroachment.
“Water resources will be destroyed. Dirty water becomes the norm, be it for domestic use or irrigation. We must put a stop to it,” he said, adding that a meeting would be held soon with the respective agencies, including the Kedah Forestry Department.
Meanwhile, Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) general manager Datuk Fouzi Ali said that areas near the important Muda and Pedu dams should not be touched with no logging activity carried out there.
“It is important for water catchment areas to be protected. As for irrigation, the water capacity in Pedu dam is insufficient.
“This situation worsens during a drought. We normally rely on the dam’s water for the first season of padi cultivation and for the second season, we rely on rainfall.
“However, early this year the dam’s water was insufficient and we almost resorted to dry seeding. But we were lucky enough to get enough rain,” he added.
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