Musang King plantation project at Gunung Inas to go on

ALOR SETAR: Despite the objections to a Musang King project in Kedah, it will likely proceed as planned.

Kedah environment and climate change committee chairman Simon Ooi said the project had been given the go-ahead by the Department of Environment (DOE) in Putrajaya on July 23,2013.

“Only the state government has the jurisdiction to scrap the project but the project is already taking shape at Gunung Inas, ” he said.

“There is a need now to speed up the replanting of trees and cover crops to minimise run-off from the site and ensure that all the mitigation measures are in place, ” he said in a statement to The Star.

Villagers of Kampung Iboi and the surrounding areas near the Baling-Gerik border are pressing for the state government to cancel the Musang King plantation project in the Gunung Inas forest reserve.

They contended that the project has impacted the environment and affected the area’s water supply.

However, Ooi dispelled claims made by villagers regarding the quality of the water in the area.

He said that an inspection by the state DoE on Oct 30 showed that the water quality at Lata Celak appeared to be clean.

Ooi said there are 24 water quality monitoring stations in the Sungai Muda basin. One of them is in Sungai Ketil, about 30km downstream from the project site.

As of Sept 5, he said the water quality at this station was categorised as “clean” with a Water Quality Index (WQI) level of 89, which is in Class II of the National Water Quality Standard. Class II defines the water as sufficiently clean for recreational use.

He, however, said he had

instructed state DoE and Forestry Department to conduct a joint investigation on the allegations.

The state DoE, he said, issued a notice on Nov 3, directing the developer to give adequate sediment ponds (in terms of numbers, dimension and locations) to ensure that surface run-off was fully controlled and would not pollute the river.

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