LIPIS: The Pahang government has ordered the state Minerals and Geoscience Department and other related agencies to investigate the legality of a controversial land clearing project at Bukit Sekilau in Kuantan.
State Basic Facilities and Environmental Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Soffi Abdul Razak revealed that the other government agencies scrutinising the project are the Kuantan district Land and Mines Office (PTG) and the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK).
"The state government has directed the related agencies to scrutinise all documentation produced by the parties involved (land owners, among others), to determine whether (an application for) permission to clear the land had been (submitted) to the MPK.
"(The probe on) whether an application to open a quarry was made will be handled by the Minerals and Geoscience Department.
"We will also look into whether the land clearing requires an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report.
"All agencies are looking into this in detail and the result will be reported back to us, and then discussed at the exco (state committee) meeting," he added.
Soffi was speaking during a press conference after handing over a mock key to a house rebuilt under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) at Kampung Chat here on Tuesday.
He was responding to an exclusive report by the New Straits Times on residents' concerns over land clearing at the 2.7ha land at Bukit Sekilau.
The area is now scarred with bald patches, triggering worries on the activities’ adverse impact on the environment and surrounding population.
Land clearing activities, which have increased over the past few months, have turned the land into an eyesore which is clearly visible from most parts of Kuantan.
Despite the movement of lorries and heavy machinery in and out of the site, residents have been left wondering what the land is destined for, as there are no notice boards providing information on the type of project being developed, the duration of the construction or the parties involved.