Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Penang state government, Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP), Penang Lands & Mines Office, South West District & Land Office, Department of Mineral & Geoscience, and the Department of Environment to review the operations of the quarry in Sungai Ara, Penang.
The quarry activities that operate in Mukim 12, Southwest District are very close to several residential areas that have caused concern to thousands of residents here. The distance of the quarry from some of the houses in this dense residential area is less than 200 metres.
Residents are faced with the activity of stone breaking in the quarry, causing the housing area to experience various incidents, including cracks in the walls and floor of a number of houses, as well as dust. The most dangerous is flying rocks that pose harm.
In addition, residents are concerned that lorries carrying loads of quarried rock material could jeopardise the safety of road users. The residents also hear frequent loud explosions, believed to be from the rock quarry here.
Residents in Setia Pulau Mutiara I, II and III, as well as Stramax Residences had sent a letter to the Penang Chief Minister last July to voice their objection against the quarry operation. The residents expressed hope that the quarry operation will be stopped immediately as in the case of the quarry in Juru which operations were stopped recently.
The residents have also lodged complaints, objections, and attended meetings with the authorities over the past few months but lament that firm action was not taken and they are still facing problems and dangers from this quarry operation.
SAM is concerned that if this matter is not addressed immediately, the residents will continue to be at risk, besides the adverse effects on the environment. We understand that this quarry operation is related to earthworks for the development of a new housing project here. Experience has shown that development on hillsides can bring dire consequences in the event of landslides, especially during this heavy rainy season.
Thus, SAM urges the Penang State Government and the relevant parties to seriously consider the residents’ objections. The quarry operations near the residential area should be stopped immediately before a tragedy occurs.