Industrial discharge partly to blame for pollution

MELAKA: Industrial effluent has been identified as one of the key contributors to the pollution of the historic Sungai Melaka waterway, says State Health and Anti-Drug Committee chairman Low Chee Leong.

Citing yesterday’s incident, Low said the river pollution resulted in the deaths of thousands of freshwater fish within hours.

“I received dozens of images of rotting dead fish all along the river.

Health hazard: Rotting dead fish floating in Sungai Melaka due to pollution.

“This could lead to health complications for those residing along the riverbank,” he said after visiting the median point of Sungai Melaka at the ferry cruise service in Taman Rempah here yesterday.

Low said the state Department of Environment (DoE) was still investigating the source of the pollution, but preliminary findings pointed to effluent discharge from the Batu Hampar tributary in Malim near here.

“The pollution stretches almost 5km and efforts are being made to remove the dead fish before they submerge to the bottom of the river,” he added.

Low also said the Melaka and Coastal Development Corporation had already deployed workers to gather the fish.

“Our main concern is that bacteria on the carcasses may multiply and diminish the river’s oxygen level, which could lead to the second wave affecting other aquatic lives,” he said.

Low said there were many industries along the riverbank and that detailed laboratory tests could help to trace the polluters.

“This incident is unacceptable as the state depends on tourism.

“The unbearable pungent smell would drive away visitors,” he added.

Corporation chief executive officer Azlan Abidin said a police report would be lodged over the incident.

“The report is part of the procedure and we will take the next step after the DoE releases the toxicology findings,” he said.

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