State firm takes part blame for murky rivers
ALOR SETAR: Kedah Mentri Besar Incorporated has admitted that the Ladang Sejahtera project in Baling’s Gunung Inas Forest Reserve was among the factors that contributed to the rivers’ murky waters.
Its chief executive officer Datuk Shahabudin Shafie said the murky waters were caused by soil runoff from the 600ha land which were being cleared to plant rubber trees.
“The Ladang Sejahtera project, which received approval after the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was conducted in 2010, was done under the Department of Environment’s guidelines.
“We had built terraces and planted the area with peanut plants to protect the soil from erosion,” he said, adding that the project had been going on for about a year and this was the first complaint they had received.
Shahabudin, who was speaking to reporters at a press conference in Wisma Darulaman, said the rivers only became murky after it rained as explained by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak recently.
It was reported that more than 300 people held a peaceful rally in front of the Rakan Muda Complex in Baling last month to protest the widespread logging which they claimed was making the rivers murky.