Share This

Saturday, 4 November 2017

PAC blamed Penang Island City Council (MBPP) for failing to enforce laws on hillside development

Becoming bald: A view of the clearing work seen at Bukit Relau which was visible from the Penang Bridge in November last year.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had faulted the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) for failing to monitor and enforce laws on hillside development in the state.

In its report on hill land development tabled on May 19, PAC said the lax monitoring not only resulted in unchecked hill clearing, but landowners were able to build houses, chalets, hotels and restaurants on Penang’s hill range.

“This situation happened because of MBPP’s failure to monitor and patrol hill land after notices were issued to landowners.

“This led to risks of soil erosion, landslides, mudslides, river sedimentation and disruptions to the surroundings,” it stated.

PAC’s report gained public attention after Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin brought it up in a dialogue session held by Penang NGOs and residents associations on flood and landslides on Sunday.

She told 200-odd members of the civil society that the report was tabled in the state assembly but never presented.

PAC stated that according to the state Audit Department, out of 31 illegal hill land clearing cases in 2015, four were in the Teluk Bahang water catchment area.

The committee, chaired by Bagan Dalam assemblyman A. Tanasekharan, visited nine of the cases on March 1.

It highlighted the Bukit Relau hill clearing case 410m above sea level and visible from Penang Bridge.

“Media reports and public comments should have been enough for MBPP and other authorities to take immediate action.

“Mitigation works on Bukit Relau have taken so long to be completed. The local authorities neither monitor the work frequently nor supply regular updates,” it added.

On illegal clearing that took place on Penang Hill, PAC expressed frustration that the actual dates and specific locations of the earthworks could not be determined because of the unsatisfactory records and monitoring.

“On Penang Hill, there was confusion on the existing agricultural plot and the new clearings.

“There are no definitions of allowable hill land agricultural works that involves digging,” it added.

PAC also objected to an earlier suggestion by the state Local Government Committee to exclude hill land earthworks related to agricultural activities from needing work permits.

Source: The Star by Arnold Loh

Related Links:

Massive works near Paya Terubong Paired Road raise fears




Related posts:

Behind BJ Cove houses at Lintang Bukit Jambul 1 is an IJM Trehaus Project.  Approximate Coordinates : 5°20'38.47"N,100°16'...
Council should not bow to development or political pressure, says city councilor, Khoo ‘Politicians should be ‘wakil rakyat’ and n...
Seeking solutions: Penang Forum member and soil expert Dr Kam Suan Pheng giving her views during the dialogue session themed ‘Penang Fl..
Speaking out: Penang Forum members protesting outside the CAP office in George Town. Don’t just make it about worker safety issues ..
https://youtu.be/QB45Q2_mOG0 Suspicious activity: A photo taken from Penang social activist Anil Netto's blog showing an active
(From left) Dr Kam will deliver a talk on ‘Understanding the Causes of Floods and Seeking Solutions. State assemblymen expressing inter...
Wet, wet woes: (Above) Bukit Jambul is flooded once again after an evening downpour. Firemen installing a pump to draw floodwater...