IPOH: The Tanjung Batu waterfall in Segari, Manjung, is not affected due to quarrying activities but photos of a site that had gone viral is actually a seasonal stream, says Mohd Akmal Kamarudin.
The state environment and green technology committee chairman said as the waterfall was located one kilometre away from the licenced quarry site, it was (waterfall) still protected and not affected.
He said the photos that went viral showed a seasonal stream that occurred only during a downpour as a result from a reservoir located some 200m above the licensed area of the Segari Melintang forest reserve.
“Thus, the failure to control soil erosion and sediment from quarrying activities affected the seasonal stream and not the waterfall.
“The quarry operator has violated the requirements of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) by not appointing a certified environment officer.
“That resulted in soil and sediment erosion at the project site, ” he said in a statement yesterday.
On Jan 16, Aktivis Sahabat Alam (Kuasa) reported the once pristine waterfall was filled with debris from soil erosion due to the quarrying activities.
Kuasa vice-chairman Noor Ismady Ahmad Radzuan said he came across the site last Thursday when surveying locations for a mangrove tree-planting plan.
He said the waterfall was all right in early December last year and it was disappointing to see it again in such a condition.
Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad, who issued a statement on Jan 18, said the state government had instructed the Forestry and Environment Departments to look into the matter.
Akmal said on Wednesday that an immediate stop-work order was issued and the operator was instructed to carry out remedial work at the seasonal stream area, which would take two weeks.
“Action will be taken against the operator for violating the conditions that resulted in the seasonal stream being polluted, ” he added.
He said if the public came across any machinery moving around the quarry area, it was due to the ongoing cleaning and restoration works.
“The state government is very committed in maintaining the sustainability of the environment, and is concerned about the rivers in the state, ” he added.
In 2014, the project site was issued with a licence for the production of rocks (quarrying), with the EIA report obtained on Oct 2,2017.
The Environmental Management Plan for the project was approved on Oct 25,2018, with the Quarry Scheme Approval Letter issued to the company on Feb 1,2019.