IPOH: Ferries have been used to transport forest produce including timber, crossing Tasik Bersia from the Temenggor Forest Reserve to a timber collection centre in Bersia, Gerik, since last year, says the Perak Forestry Department.
In a statement Thursday (July 11), the department said the ferry route was introduced since the beginning of 2018 and not after a blockade was built by the Orang Asli at Sungai Papan and Cenawing in the Air Chepam Forest Reserve several months ago.
"Based on our records, two companies were granted with licences to fell and take out the logs.
"One company was issued a licence covering an area of 80ha in the Temenggor Forest Reserve from Feb 1 to July 31, 2019, and the work has been completed.
"The second company has a licence for another 80ha from May 16 to Nov 15, 2019, and has currently logged 40% of the area," it said.
It was reported that the Orang Asli blockade at the Air Chepam Forest Reserve started in February to prevent lorries carrying felled timber from leaving the area.
The department said both companies are using pontoon ferries to carry logs from Tasik Bersia to Matau Utama Lesen, located in Bersia.
“The nearest Orang Asli village is Kampung Sugai Rengat and we have not received any objection from the villagers,” it added.
The issue became viral on social media after a Facebook user Yatie Sharom uploaded a video of a lorry and a heavy machine transferring logs on July 9.
In the post, she claimed that logging activities were still on-going despite the Orang Asli blockade at Sungai Papan and Cenawing.