KUALA TERENGGANU: Logging activities at compartment 20 GS Hulu Terengganu at the upper reaches of Sungai Lasir have been ordered to stop immediately following the failure of the concessionaire Four R Boutique to adhere to specifications for the construction of a bridge under conditions set by the Forestry Department.
The directive came barely 24 hours after the New Straits Times highlighted the logging activities in Hulu Terengganu forest reserve near Kemat that had turned the once pristine Sungai Lasir into a muddy river that houseboat operators in Tasik Kenyir no longer recommended as an attraction.
State Tourism, Culture and Information Technology committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said the muddy water was caused by the construction of the logging track and a bridge in compartment 20 GS Hulu Terengganu.
“The location of the compartment is at the upper reaches of Sungai Lasir and the muddy waters is due to the construction of a logging track and a bridge across a tributary of Sungai Lasir. When it rains the mud is flushed into Sungai Lasir.
“The sediments flow directly into Tasik Kenyir passing through the Sungai Lasir waterfalls,” he said in his Facebook posting today after the issue was highlighted in the NST.
He said the Forestry Department had conducted a check and found that the concessionaire had failed to meet specifications on the construction of roads.
“Following this, the department had temporarily stopped all logging activities and directed the concessionaire to implement mitigation measures to prevent erosion of earth from the construction of the bridge across the tributary.
“The concessionaire is also required to ensure that impact of the muddy water is minimised because the muddy flow occurs when it rains in the area. The Forestry Department will monitor all remedial actions taken by the concessionaire,” he said, adding that the Central Terengganu Development Authority (Ketengah) had identified the problem two weeks ago.
It was reported that houseboat operators in Tasik Kenyir have been avoiding Sungai Lasir since last month because it was not safe. With the area becoming an eyesore for visitors, it is feared that it could affect tourism activities in the country’s largest man-made lake.
Houseboat operators also fear that the logging activities could affect the popular Kelah Sanctuary at Sungai Petang and the spawning areas along the river.