KOTA KINABALU: All sand mining and dredging activities in Sabah's interior Keningau district have been ordered to stop immediately amid river conservation efforts.
State Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Junz Wong, who made the call for a total ban, said regular unmonitored sand mining and dredging is causing erosion and degradation.
"Mining and dredging can destroy river habitats and disturb the aquatic ecosystem as well," he said in a statement on Sunday.
He said those who disregard the order would risk losing their licences.
"Whether they possess TOL or Schedule B licences issued by Assistant Collector of Land Revenue (ACLR) officers, all works must stop immediately," Wong said.
He said he will instruct the Land and Survey Department to coordinate and carry out regular inspections so that these operators would not continue with their activities.
He also said his ministry through the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) would conduct environmental study impacts on the rivers in Keningau due to rampant sand mining activities for the last 20 years.
"Please report any sand and gravel extraction to the relevant authorities so that our rivers can be preserved," Wong said.
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