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SAM: Stop orchard development in Perak's Kledang Saoing

IPOH (Dec 12): Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has reiterated its call to stop the proposed orchard development in Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve near Chemor, Perak, reported Malaysiakini today.

The NGO also wanted the area to be re-gazetted as forest reserve land.

SAM also “called into question” the validity of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the planned orchard development at Perak Hi-Tech in Lot PT 253408 and 253409 which was approved by the Department of Environment (DoE) on June 21, 2009, reported the news portal.

"Based on the DoE’s stipulation, the validity of an EIA report is only two years from the date the letter of approval is issued," SAM president Meenakshi Raman said in a statement today.

She explained that as of now, “the activity in the project area is ‘logging for the purpose of converting the forest to other land use’ covering 151.49 hectares of land from Nov 1, 2019 to Jan 30, 2020”.

"This activity is subject to the requirement of an EIA report as stipulated in the First Schedule of the Environmental Quality (Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 2015 and Section 34A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127).

"According to the Ipoh District Local Plan 2020, the zoning of this project area is forest zone.

"The land owner may not convert the forest zone to agriculture zone unless a zone alteration, revocation or replacement has been carried out in the local plan in accordance with subsection 16 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172)," Meenakshi added.

Yesterday, the Perak State Development Corp (PKNP) said the clearing of the Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve  is for the development of orchards, and not for logging activities.

The orchards were a joint venture project with Insan Permata Sdn Bhd, to develop a 160.06 hectares (ha) of PKNP-owned land located at the Perak Hi-Tech area.

PKNP said the clearing of the land was carried out under the agriculture category to prevent incidents of landslides which could affect the eco-system in the area under the condition stipulated in the Environment Management Plan (EMP).

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