KUALA LUMPUR: Land clearing for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project in Selangor does not involve any de-gazettement of forest reserves, including those within the Selangor State Park, says Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).
Instead, the ECRL project owner said to safeguard the environment, the project has complied with the approved environmental impact assessment (EIA), environmental management plan and erosion and sediment control plan guidelines, as well as conditions that were prescribed by the Environment Department (DOE) and the Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID), accordingly.
"To facilitate preparatory works for the ECRL construction, MRL has obtained a right-of-way permit from the Forestry Department so that its contractors could enter the forest reserve to carry out licensed activities related to the ECRL,” it said in a statement Monday (Feb 6).
MRL was responding to recent claims by a non-governmental organisation that it found land-clearing activities in four areas in the Selangor State Park.
On the EIA, a mandatory requirement under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, MRL said the assessment was submitted to the DOE on Nov 30, 2021 and was approved on Dec 20, 2021.
"For the record, the ECRL railway scheme for Section C2 (Gombak-Serendah-Port Klang) was granted by the Transport Ministry to MRL on Jan 14, 2022, after a three-month public inspection as per the statutory requirements of the Land Public Transport Act 2010.
"On Sept 14, 2022, we received approval from the Selangor state government to proceed with the construction of ECRL Section C2 alignment in Selangor,” it said.
It added that the ECRL construction activities under Section C2, which is fully located within Selangor, are carried out tactfully in consultation with local communities and all relevant stakeholders and in accordance with the regulatory requirements.
"For our ongoing project in Selangor, we work closely with authorities and government agencies at all levels, including the federal government, the Selangor state government, Selangor State Forestry Department (JPNS), DoE, and all relevant local councils.
"In addition, both MRL and China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd (CCC-ECRL) are proactively holding meetings and engagement sessions with the Selangor state authorities and all stakeholders of the ECRL project, including the local communities living near the ECRL work sites,” it said.
The company emphasised that together with the main contractor CCC-ECRL, it is committed to fully comply with all requirements set out by the authorities to protect the environment and safeguard public interest. - Bernama