JASIN: The state government will set up a special committee to investigate pollution and ensure it does not recur along Sungai Melaka.
Chief Minister Adly Zahari said the priority for the committee, led by the Sungai Melaka and Coastal Development Corporation, would be to find out what caused the death of hundreds of fish and why the Sungai Melaka water turned blackish.
“So far, what we have identified is that the meeting of freshwater and saltwater from the sea caused the fish to die. This phenomenon also occurred in 2015,” he told reporters after opening the Ramadan Inspiration programme organised by the state-level Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) Melaka in Merlimau here yesterday.
Adly said Sungai Melaka was a tourist area and hoped that the committee would come up with long-term measures to ensure the quality of the river remains good.
He said the committee would also discuss the main measures to control the influx of water through an enhanced barrage system and ensure better river management in future.
He also said the long period of unreleased water at the Batu Hampar dam could be a reason for the river’s discoloration.
“However, we believe the situation will be back to normal when it rains,” he said, adding that the Melaka River Cruise boat service would continue.
Adly said the barrage system problem in the river could be solved if the RM15mil application was approved by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry.
On Monday, it was reported that the state government wanted the Melaka Department of Environment to investigate the reason for the river turning dark and emitting a foul smell.
Meanwhile, at the same event, YaPEIM board member Mokhtar Ramli said a total of RM168,500 was allocated to the foundation to assist 1,600 disadvantaged adults and children in Melaka for the Ramadan Inspiration programme this year.
YaPEIM also allocated RM2.5mil to be distributed to 14,000 recipients nationwide, including orphans and the underprivileged. — Bernama