Squatters to blame for most river pollution, says Johor MB

JOHOR BARU: Squatters are one of the main contributors to river pollution in the state, especially at Sungai Tebrau here, says Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.

“We’ve noticed that most of the rubbish thrown into Sungai Tebrau is household waste, believed to come from squatter colonies around the area.

“We want to ensure that the number of squatter houses are reduced.

“In order to do so, we need strong political will and collaboration from all parties, including those at the grassroots level,” he told the press after launching the Clean Johor @ Sungai Tebrau programme here in Sungai Tebrau yesterday.

The Mentri Besar said about three tonnes of rubbish was fished out of Sungai Tebrau daily.

“The latest figures show about 85 tonnes of rubbish was removed from the river in just one month.

“Another badly polluted river is Sungai Skudai where about 60 tonnes of rubbish was collected in a month,” he added.

Joint effort: Volunteers picking up rubbish from the banks of Sungai Tebrau  during a ‘Çlean Johor’ event. — THOMAS YONG/The StarJoint effort: Volunteers picking up rubbish from the banks of Sungai Tebrau during a ‘Çlean Johor’ event. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

At a gotong-royong event in Sungai Segget earlier, he said that plans were underway to relocate some 54 squatter colonies around Johor Baru to more suitable locations.

He added that the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) has identified these squatter areas, which house around 50,000 residents.

“This would require the collaboration of all parties.

“We will work closely with local authorities as well as the Land and Mines Department to look into the matter,” said Onn Hafiz.

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