KUANTAN: The Pahang government has gazetted 258,951.88ha of land as water catchment areas, says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail (pic).
He said the state government had always given priority to forest conservation and water catchment areas, and the forested area in the state is now 57% more than the state land area.
“However, it takes a long time to gazette an area. It requires a thorough study... but the government will step up efforts to increase the forest reserve area in Pahang, ” he said, adding that Lubuk Yu in Maran is the latest area to be gazetted for the purpose.
Wan Rosdy said this in response to a question from Mohd Zakhwan Ahmad Badarddin (PAS-Tahan) on the amount of land that had been gazetted as water catchment areas in the state assembly here yesterday.
Meanwhile, agriculture, agro-based industry and biotechnology committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Soffi Abd Razak said those who had been issued with the temporary occupation licence (TOL) should know the licence could be terminated at any time.
“They are not allowed to build permanent structures or plant permanent crops on the land because the government has the right to terminate the TOL, if there is a need to take back the land, ” he said in response to a supplementary question from Chow Yu Hui (PH-Tras).
Chow wanted to know whether durian farmers in Tras, Raub, whose TOL had been terminated to make way for the construction of a durian processing factory, would be compensated.
Chow also wanted to know whether the Department of Environment had approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the factory built by Royal Pahang Durian Resources-Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Pahang in the area covering 10.52ha.
Soffi said the EIA report was not required for the construction of the factory, while the Raub District Council had approved the planning of the project after the parties involved fulfilled the technical aspects. — Bernama
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