KUANTAN (Bernama): The Pahang government has demolished 121ha of illegal plantations in Cameron Highlands in operations that began on Feb 25.
Pahang state secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak said the first phase of the operation, involving 11 plantations, was expected to end in mid-March while the second phase scheduled for April would involve 50 farms.
He said the operation was being carried out to restore the glory of Cameron Highlands, which is described as the "darling of Malaysia" as well as to ensure the sustainability of the river water in the area.
“These illegal farming areas are located right in front of the intake point of the Sungai Ichat dam which supplies 70% of the clean water in the Cameron Highlands area.
“Because of the illegal farms around the intake point, the Sungai Ichat dam is sometimes forced to be shut down due to contamination from agricultural activities due to the use of pesticides and fertilisers,” he said.
Sallehuddin said this when met after launching the Pahang State Tafaqquh Fiddin programme at the main hall of the Pahang Yayasan Complex here Saturday (March 9).
He also denied that farmers were being given short notice on the matter because according to him, notices were issued annually to those living on illegal land.
“We have been issuing warning notices from 2009, so the seven-day notice period (this time) is reasonable,” he said. - Bernama