Century-old tunnel found

IPOH: Caving enthusiasts have found a cave tunnel believed to be over a century old and used by people then to traverse between villages in Simpang Pulai.

Perak Natural Heritage Geopark Tour Guides Association chairman Mohd Fadly Md Noor said the tunnel was about 400m long and was discovered at Gunung Lanno in October.

Mohd Fadly said there was even a flight of steps, believed to be man-made, inside the tunnel.

“All of these are based on our observations and we hope other parties can do a proper study on it.

“We just want to let people know what we have found,” he told reporters when met near the tunnel on Saturday.

Mohd Fadly said the tunnel also leads to a cavern that has been flooded.

“It’s quite a big area within and we can go solo kayaking in it,” he said, adding that he believes that the site has heritage and tourism potential.

He said the association, with the help of professional divers and spelunkers, have been surveying the cave to ensure the area is safe.

“As the entrance to the tunnel is located on a piece of private land, it is not open to the public but we hope the relevant state agencies can take an interest in this.

“I think it is good that the public and the government have knowledge about this unique place,” he said.

“Although the site is near a quarry, I believe conservation works can be done,” he added.

Association member Ching Boon Tat said they found the tunnel based on a map that dated back to 1916.

Ching said based on the map, the cave was called the FP Thro Hill and it connects between Telok Kangor and Serba Jadi.

“Gunung Lanno is quite long and vast and we believe that the tunnel enables people back then to take a ‘shortcut’ instead of going around the hill,” he said.

“Someone I know believes that FP stands for ‘foot path’ while Thro is short for ‘through’.

“What we know is that there are stalagmites in the flooded cavern, which is a sign that it used to be dry and that we believe it is now inundated due to quarry activities,” he said.

When met, state tourism committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said the state welcomes any discovery by non-governmental organisations or individuals on sites with potential to be preserved.

“We need more people to help us discover as we don’t have the manpower.

“Any discoveries can be reported to us via the Perak State Parks Corporation or the state Minerals and Geoscience Department so they can do research whether these sites can be preserved or declared as geopark sites,” she said.

“Part of Gunung Lanno is for quarry activities but that does not mean we are not conserving sites with high value,” she added.

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