KULAI: Kulai District Office has issued two notices to the owner of the poultry farm since last year to explain why he was violating the term of land ownership.
Kulai District Officer Md Za'nal Misran said the farm owner had illegally opened up a second plot of land next to its farm to make fertiliser out of chicken manure using “compost” method, which had caused the problem.
He said Kulai District Land Administrative Office issued a notice to the owner two months after the previous big case of ammonia pollution last year, for violating its land usage terms under the National Land Code 1965.
"The 7A Notice for violating terms under Section 128 of the Code was issued to the farm owner in September 2016. The notice required the owner to return to the original terms for land use.
"Processing fertiliser is categorised as an enterprise and this violated its original terms for agriculture," he said in an interview at his office today.
Za'nal said the notice was issued after the fertiliser premises was found to have caused ammonia pollution in Sungai Sayong, which is a tributary of Sungai Johor in July last year.
He said the owner had obtained permission to operate the poultry farm on a 9.4ha site near Layang-Layang, which is located about 30km north of Kulai.
However, the owner had illegally used a second plot of land of 2.2ha nearby to process the fertiliser.
This second plot of land is located about 150m from Sungai Sayong.
Za'nal said after the first notice was issued, investigations were carried out, and Kulai District Land Administrative Office countinued to monitor the premises, but the owner did not adhere to it.
Za'nal said last month (September 2017), Kulai District Land Administrative Office issued its second notice known as 7B under Section 129 of the National Land Code 1965, which is a showcause notice that required the owner to give his reason why he did not revert to the original terms of the land usage.
He said on the part of Kulai District Land Administrative Office, it could not have done anything to force the farm owner to adhere to the notices.
"There is no way for (Kulai District Land Administrative Office) to take action on this matter.
“We were forced to follow the legal process, and it began with the issuance of notice for violating the terms of land use, and then later with a showcause notice.
"The notice that can be issued after this point is the 8A notice to seize the land, which comes with its own set of laws, procedures and evidence that need to be furnished before it can be done," said Za'nal.
Asked if the latest case of ammonia pollution could have been avoided, Za'nal said it was possible if the farm owner adhered to proper management of its fertiliser-making venture.
"It could have been avoided, if he closed down his fertiliser plant, or if he conducted its fertiliser activity on his first plot of land and he does it properly," he said.
The New Straits Times reported yesterday that the poultry farm that also made fertliser using chicken manure had been found to be the source of ammonia pollution in Sungai Johor that led to the temporary shutdown of three water treatment plants in Johor since Friday.
The incident raised the ire of residents affected by the water disruption in Johor Baru, Kulai, Iskandar Puteri and Kota Tinggi.
It also led to the state water utility company, SAJ Ranhill Sdn Bhd, issuing a notice that up to 1.8 million consumers could be affected by the incident.
However, what was troubling was that it was not the first time the poultry farm had caused ammonia pollution.
In July last year, a similar case affected the water supply of 600,000 people.