ALOR SETAR: The Kedah government, together with relevant departments and agencies, will plan further action following the findings of the Environment and Water Ministry, which confirmed that the flood occurred in Baling on July 4 because the reservoir of the Musang King durian planting project at the top of Gunung Inas had burst.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor (pic) said the state government accepted the decision made by the ministry and would find a solution as soon as possible to prevent a recurrence.
"The ministry has made such a conclusion, so the state government accepts the reason. According to its study, there was a reservoir pool that burst, causing floods and headwater surge in Baling.
"On our part, I was informed yesterday that the Kedah State Forestry Department planned to plant trees immediately in Gunung Inas," he said after the opening ceremony of Kedah Cashless and iHASIL here on Monday (July 18).
Earlier, Minister of Environment and Water Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the flood in Baling was caused by a ruptured reservoir pool which was detected through a study carried out by the ministry.
Muhammad Sanusi said the state government needs to decide on the type of crop to be planted in Gunung Inas - which was previously approved for land clearing to plant timber latex clone (TLC), a rubber tree variety harvested for latex and timber but was later converted to Musang King durian by the previous state administration.
"I had ordered for cover crops (to be planted) two years ago but now it is a question of 'who' to do the planting.
"The company given approval wants to plant durian, but to maintain a forest plantation, it would have to grow TLC mixed with only 20% of durian.
"If forest trees are planted (for cover), they cannot be cut down later so there will be no (economic) returns but if you grow durian, the fruit can be sold (for gains).
"If the company feels that a certain crop will not give returns on its investment and decides to pull out, the next question is who will do the planting," he posed.
He said, in this regard, discussions with the relevant departments, agencies and ministries should be continued for a final word (solution) on the matter. - Bernama