(main photo: Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari says the factory building will be demolished within the next few months)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor government will instruct the factory responsible for the pollution of Sungai Selangor, which led to water disruptions to over 1.2 million people in the Klang Valley, to vacate the land it occupies.
At a press conference, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said the factory in the Sungai Gong Industrial Area in Rawang had already been closed.
He said the state had instructed that the land be vacated as it had breached the Gombak District and Land Office’s terms. An official notice will be issued to the factory owners on Monday.
The land is to be vacated and handed back to its rightful owner.
“We have asked the owner to rehabilitate the land. The building has to be demolished,” he said, adding this will be done within the next three to four months, though the site will be closed.
“We have also asked Air Selangor and Tenaga Nasional Berhad to cut water and electricity supply to the factory to prevent it from restarting operations,” he said at the Air Selangor headquarters today.
The water pollution was detected in Sungai Gong, Rawang, which flows into Sungai Sembah and enters Sungai Selangor, which is a water reservoir.
Earlier, Air Selangor said it had resumed supply of water to affected users at noon today, with more than 50% of the affected areas expected to receive water supply over the next two days.
The affected areas are Petaling, Klang, Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Langat and Kuala Selangor.
Amirudin said the factory had previously been fined RM60,000 for contaminating water sources in March but officials lacked enough evidence to take further action.
“The Environment Department said it has issued the company a compound fine and the Selayang Municipal Council has issued an order for the company to stop operating, which they complied with,” he said.
“But they resumed operations after the movement control order in June.”
Amirudin also advised the public not to rush to collect water as he said it would disrupt the process of redistributing water to the residents.
Earlier today, Selangor police chief Noor Azam Jamaludin said the four brothers who own the factory were arrested last night.
The case is being investigated under Section 430 of the Penal Code, and the four men have been remanded for six days.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali had urged the Selangor government to take more drastic action against any parties that caused contamination of rivers which affected water usage for domestic users in the state.
“The Selangor state administration must take firm action because contamination and disruption of water supply have a huge impact not only on users but also on industries and the economy of the nation.
“When I was the Selangor menteri besar previously, I took firm action by not only closing the factories sited along the river bank (illegal factories) but also dragged the wrongdoers to court for their irresponsible actions,” he said during his visit to Perlis today.
Azmin was Selangor menteri besar from 2014 to 2018.