KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Territories Ministry plans to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) along the Klang River, mainly near residential areas and 'hotspots' which may be prone to illegal dumping activities, in a bid to curb pollution.
Apart from proposing stricter enforcement, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abd Samad said that the move is designed to instill fear of the repercussions of getting caught dumping waste into the major river.
"We are looking at installing CCTVs along the river, where there are high populations, so that people will not throw their waste into the river. It's a good deterrent," Khalid said after the River of Life (RoL) Public Outreach Programme (POP) phase 5 award ceremony here, last night.
He said the move will be part of the ministry’s Klang River cleaning and rehabilitation project, which is about 91 per cent complete.
"Enforcement, paired with CCTV monitoring of hotspots, are in line with the smart city we are headed towards," he said.
Khalid added that the plan will not only be a deterrent to river pollution, but could also double as a safety measure in the event of an accident or flood.
“We could monitor floods, or in the case of someone falling into the river. The CCTVs would come in handy to authorities," he said, adding that the public should also alert authorities if they witness illegal dumping activities.
Khalid noted that despite the RoL project being initiated in 2011, the amount of waste that accumulates in traps in the Klang River does not seem to be going down.
"Although billions are spent to preserve our rivers, the waste and rubbish that are gathered at the traps weigh hundreds of tonnes.
“A better sense of awareness is probably needed to ensure that the RoL is kept clean and odourless," he said.
When asked about the mobile application Citizen's Eye, which was launched last year as a means for the public to tip off authorities to dumping activities, Khalid said it needs more exposure.
"That's still a work in progress which we hope to (promote to) the people more," he said.
At the ROLPOP5 award ceremony earlier, Khalid handed out 31 awards to individuals, NGOs, residents groups, rukun tetangga, associations, environmental activists and the media for their active participation in the programme.
Khalid said that ROLPOP5 awards recognise the contributions of those who have helped in the rehabilitation of the Klang River and eight smaller rivers which converge with it.
"I hope more people will be inspired to carry out POP and do their part in river conservation to keep our rivers clean," he added.