PETALING JAYA: The latest water disruption caused by the pollution of Sungai Semenyih must bring to focus the “Polluter Pays” principle, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).
The Alliance for Safe Community chairman said those who caused pollution should bear the cost of managing it to prevent damage to human health and the environment.
“It stands to reason that before the polluter can be asked to pay, he must first be identified.
“The question is, why weren’t the polluters identified earlier?” Lee said.
The latest incident, which will affect more than 300,000 Air Selangor account holders in 273 locations in Selangor, only came to light after the authorities received reports of a foul smell, similar to that of a carcass, coming from the river, Lee said.
“This incident comes on the heels of the recent Sungai Gong pollution which also necessitated a shutdown of piped water service, causing misery to countless account holders for the umpteenth time.
“In both these cases, the authorities only acted after the fact, not before as they should have, ” he added.
Lee, however, commended Air Selangor for activating its emergency response plan to provide assistance to the affected consumers.
“It’s fine to take the polluters to court later but what about the consumers and their suffering, for which they get no compensation? Not even an assurance that it will not happen again. Enough is enough, ” he lamented.
The authorities should do more to prevent such cases from happening, he said.
“It is not difficult to identify factories and activities along the rivers – upstream, midstream and downstream – and then conduct regular checks on these premises to ensure that they are complying with existing rules and regulations, ” he added.
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