Posted by: ulumuda | August 11, 2008

Kedah urged to get third-party view on EIA(The Star-1 July 08)

By ANDREA FILMER

GEORGE TOWN: Kedah should get a third party to review any environmental impact assessment (EIA) on proposed logging in the Pedu, Muda and Ahning dam catchment areas.

Penang Water Supply Corporation general manager Jaseni Maidinsa said the move would ensure the EIA prepared by prospective logging companies was not biased.

“The EIA reports alone cannot be trusted as they may only reflect the interests of prospective timber companies,” he said.

Last month, Kedah Mentri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak announced that the state would embark on heli-harvesting which would generate some RM16bil to cover the state’s expenditure.

He said only selective logging to remove decaying trees of more than 100 years old would be conducted, a statement which Jaseni said was “illogical” as sawmills would not accept the rotten wood of old trees.

“The whole purpose of logging is to make use of the timber. No logging company will be interested in rotten wood,” he said.

Jaseni said the logging plan would jeopardise Penang’s water supply of which 80% came from the Muda dam catchment area.

“Logging in the Muda dam catchment area will put at risk all infrastructure in Penang as they are all dependent on water,” he said.

In a related development, Jaseni said work was on schedule for a water storage tank and retention pond project on Pulau Jerejak as back-up supply to the Bukit Dumbar Reservoir.

“We are currently at the earthworks stage in which we are clearing the grounds and laying the pipes.

“The concrete work to build the base of the reservoir should start in the third quarter of the year,” he said, adding that the project was about 30% completed.

The project, which started in December last year, is due for completion in about a year.

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