Saturday, August 12, 2006

South KL Waste Transfer Station in Kampung Bohol – It’s the time for DBKL and Ministry for Local Government to explain

DAP Selangor believes that now is the right time for the government to decide on the fate of South KL Waste Transfer Station (SKLTS)

The people affected have organized themselves to protest this project when the media announced this project earlier this year.

We have to bear in mind that it is a general perception that Puchong has increasingly became the dumping site of Klang Valley, resulting in severe environmental problem in Puchong. If the government proceeds to construct this transfer station in Kampung Bohol, this perception will certainly deepen.

Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Dr S. Subramaniam said in the Parliament on 4th April, Monday that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government only serves as a technical consultant whereby the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will be managing the South Kuala Lumpur Transfer Station, which will be collecting solid waste from households in Southern Kuala Lumpur before sending to Bukit Tagar Landfill or Broga incinerators for thermal treatment.

Dr S. Subramanian also said that his ministry will convey the grouses, complaints and opinions of the affected people in that area to DBKL.

It is disappointing that the Ministry was unable to deliver a full and proper explanation pertaining to the construction of the transfer station which is believed to have an adverse impact on people’s livelihood in that area.

Being the manager of the transfer station, the failure of DBKL to provide a public explanation is equally disappointing especially when the issue has been several times highlighted by the press and that the people are eagerly waiting for an answer from DBKL?

Far from being a convincing answer, Subramaniam’s explanation that his Ministry is only serving as a Technical consultant is widely regarded as mere rhetoric without addressing the following issues:
• The EIA report has mentioned that the area is one of the largest residential area in Kuala Lumpur with 79,323 houses in this area in 2000. It is questionable that the area is still regarded as “suitable” for a solid waste transfer station.
• The Selangor state government has claimed that they are not informed of any proposal to build any solid waste transfer station nearby the boundary of Kuala Lumpur – Selangor.

These are among some of the arguments included in a official objection to the DEIA report submitted to the Department of Environment on 24th February 2006 filed by DAP Selangor, in which DAP Selangor has yet been informed any decision on the DEIA report to date.

Despite the technical parts of the EIA Report, the second question that would raise many queries is that there are only a total of 487 people interviewed on the acceptance of the proposal. This is reported in the press which it itself is already a question as to how the views of 487 persons can represent the views of an estimated 100,000 people residing around the area? To carry out any public survey, it is normal that a sampling of 1000 interviews is the minimum in order to reduce errors.

The public survey generated form the EIA report also informed that a total of 226 out of 487 residents (or 66.9% of the total residents) had expressed their disagreement towards the project. Cy-waste, the project proponent of SKLTS also claimed in it’s EIA report that the public used to misunderstand that SKLTS is a solid waste incinerator or landfill project, and that they will “employ professional PR firm to undertake the dissemination of correct information and to educate the public on the positive impacts of the project has on the environment”

This is not the impression given when according to the Star dated 20th January 2006, Cy-waste Sdn. Bhd. Chief Executive Officer Daud Ahmad was reported as saying “We held a dialogue with residents from the area in December and they must be satisfied with our answers, which is why there is no objection so far''.

I had earlier on late February 2006 asked that if Cy-waste had organized the said dialogue with residents from the area in December 2005, why now the residents would turn their back on them roughly one month later. Who exactly had Cy-waste met on December 2005? How did they conduct the dialogue?

It would seems that my earlier question coincide well with the findings in the EIA, which unfortunately affect the credibility of Cy-waste as there are inconsistency in their answer.

As to now, will DBKL proceed with this project? Is DBKL fully empowered to put aside this project which has triggered the anger and frustration of the people?

The people are longing for a decision, and it is the right time for DBKL and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to come out with a full explanation without any delay.

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