PENANG Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo has expressed his concern over illegal dumping activities in the state.
“Recently, there was a case which went viral where a lorry was seen ‘dumping’ waste into the sea near E&O Hotel.
“We do not want Penang to be a ‘dumping ground’, so we need to address the root cause for this.
“The possible reason for this could be the high cost of transporting waste to the landfills on mainland.
“Now the problem that we are facing here in the island is that the Jelutong landfill has almost reached its capacity,” said Jagdeep during the press conference held after a round table meeting with the International Real Estate Federation (Fiabci Penang branch) members on May 11.
Jagdeep also told them that the state government was looking for a new landfill on the island.
“If there are any parties who are with the available land and willing to assist the state government, please do so.
“At the same time, we (state government) will be doing our part to find an alternative site (landfill) on the mainland for the one in Jelutong which will definitely be closed down,” added Jagdeep.
He also highlighted on the proposal to increase the minimum penalty for illegal dumping.
“The utmost important thing is to look at the way to prevent this (illegal dumping) from happening.
“It is not easy to monitor but I have advised the authorities to be on the look-out. When they see suspicious vehicles around, they have to go and check on them.
“I also urge the public to be our ‘ears and eyes’ pertaining to this matter.
“When you see the offence is about to take place, alert us so that we can take action,” said Jagdeep who is also the Datok Keramat assemblyman.
Speaking on another matter, Jagdeep said that with the increase in the number of tourists to the state, the number of hotel rooms and service apartments needs to be increased.
“Last year, I have finalised some guidelines with regard to the service apartments.
“The operators (service apartments) must have at least a minimum four-star rating.
“In order to attain the minimum four-star rating, they need to comply in terms of size, facilities, accessories and many other conditions,” Jagdeep said.
Other than that, Jagdeep also touched on the contributions collected by the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) from the developers and channelled to the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).
“The developers have requested to consider reviewing the contributions which have been increased in the last three years.
“I will take this issue to the SPAN to see the justification behind the increase.
“There was also a proposal from the developers for the contributions to be exempted for affordable housing projects” said Jagdeep.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter