S'gor govt to expedite relocation of factories near riverbanks and water sources, says MB

SHAH ALAM: The state government will expedite the removal of factories and manufacturing plants located near riverbanks following the spate of water contamination in Selangor, says Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

The Mentri Besar said that there were eight incidents of water pollution in Selangor this year alone, said the exercise is expected to be completed before December this year.

"That is our intention and we need time for the relocation as some of these factories are legal," added Amirudin.

He said a win-win formula must be used in the exercise when the affected factories and establishments are legal entities and big contributors to the Selangor economy.

According to Amirudin, the state was committed to clearing the riverbanks of these factories and, in view of, this he has directed state executive councilors Ng Tze Han and Hee Loy Sian, who are in charge of local government and the environment respectively, to monitor with the local authorities regularly for river cleaning-up activities as well as expediting the relocation of licensed factories that are currently operating near water sources.

Amirudin also brushed aside a question asking him if he thought the contamination could be sabotage.

"I do not want to speculate," said Amirudin, adding that the matter was for the relevant authorities to investigate.

Frequent unscheduled water cuts due to contamination of rivers which supply water to water treatment plants that provide water to most of the Klang Valley have become a bane for consumers.

The latest cut on Monday (Oct 19) resulted in almost two million accounts facing unscheduled water cuts in about 1,300 locations in the Klang Valley.

The incident had also roused the displeasure of Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

A statement issued by the Selangor palace and signed by Sultan Sharafuddin's private secretary Mohamad Munir Bani said the ruler had written to Amirudin about the issue with the latest letter dated Sept 8,2020.

The statement said Sultan Sharafuddin had advised and given some recommendations, as well as views on overcoming the water disruption.

However, Sultan Sharafuddin said the recommendations he had made to Amirudin, on overcoming the water issue, appeared to have had no effect at all as the problem still persisted and had inconvenienced the people.

Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia president S. Piarapakaran had said recently that the state government must create a database of all the factories and manufacturing plants that were potential river polluters so that it would be easy to monitor them.

He had also added that when the current factories were relocated to prevent pollution of water sources, serious efforts must also be put in place to ensure new ones did not sprout up.

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