PETALING JAYA,Oct 23: An environmental NGO has urged the Selangor government to review the approval given to factories to operate in areas that have a risk of polluting rivers, after the latest water cuts caused by odour pollution in Sungai Selangor.
Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam (Peka) president Sharifah Sabrina Syed Akil called for factories in such locations to be relocated to avoid another closure of water treatment plants, affecting supply to millions of consumers.
“All approvals given to factories in risky areas in the past 10 years should be reviewed. The relocation of the factories to a more suitable area must be studied.
“Factories that pollute raw water sources must be shut down immediately and the fine imposed must compensate for the difficulties faced by all because of the water supply disruptions,” she told FMT.
There had been eight incidents of unscheduled water cuts reported in Selangor in October alone, with the latest Sungai Selangor odour pollution leaving 1,196,457 Air Selangor account holders without water for several days.
Eight people, including two company directors of a construction machinery firm, have been remanded by police over the incident.
Sharifah urged the government to list the factories whose operations were at risk of causing pollution to ease the process of monitoring and tracing those responsible in the event of a pollution incident.
“Conduct raids to ensure that operators are not disposing contaminant agents in waterways that eventually lead to the river.
“All kinds of mechanisms can be used to acquire data when a water contaminant agent is released by a factory, even before it reaches the river,” she said.
She said the government should also review river buffer zones throughout Selangor, proposing for new borders to be created to ensure raw water sources were free from pollution.
She said weak enforcement at all stages, from district level to federal, was another reason why this has been a recurring issue, adding that corruption should not be ruled out.
“Enforcement agencies involved at all stages should conduct an integrated probe to end this water disruption episode,” she said.