THE Penang government is planning to strengthen the existing laws and guidelines to deter illegal quarrying.
State Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state would be setting up a special committee for that purpose.
“The special committee will look into the existing laws and guidelines. We will discuss on how to strengthen those laws; either through amendment or coming up with new guidelines.
“This is to serve as a deterrent to would-be-offenders,” he told a press conference at Komtar today.
Jagdeep said the special committee would also be looking into the illegal granite quarry in Teluk Bahang.
The special committee will be led by Jagdeep. Legal advisers from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) are also in the special committee.
“The Lands and Mines Department will be invited to give their input on quarry and earthwork matters,” he added.
With regard to the illegal granite quarry in Teluk Bahang, MBPP Engineering Department director A. Rajendran said the council had issued a stop work order to the quarry operator on Feb 14 this year.
“We issued the stop work order because there was no earthwork plan provided to the MBPP for approval. The operator operated the quarry illegally.
“Operations at the quarry had stopped since 2002 but it resumed early this year.
“However, there was no excavation activities at the site. Rock materials were also not removed from the site,” he said.
Rajendran said the investigation papers had been prepared for enforcement action.
“Information about the landowner has been obtained.
“A meeting was also held with several authorities including the police on Sept 26 to discuss the appropriate action,” he said.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Alvie Cheng