Thursday August 9, 2012
Residents want cement factory relocated
By MANJIT KAUR
ABOUT 300 families from Taman Dovenby and Kampung Ramasamy in Sungai Siput want a cement factory and quarry near their homes to be relocated.
Resident committee chairman R. Subramaniam claimed that children living in both residential areas had health problems due to dust from the factory and the quarry.
He added that their health problems had worsened after one of the heaviest blasting at the quarry last November.
“The matter has been brought to the attention of the Sungai Siput District Office numerous times but the complaints fell on deaf ears,” said Subramaniam.
He said Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) had in January and March conducted a survey involving 110 children living in the affected areas.
“The results show that our children are much thinner and shorter compared to those living in other areas in Sungai Siput.
“Our children are also suffering from asthma and respiratory problems,” he said, adding that the results were submitted to State Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon but the latter had yet to reply.
Subramaniam, who on Tuesday handed over a memorandum to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir at the state secretariat building in Ipoh, said the residents had also presented a similar memorandum to Dr Zambry’s political secretary Datuk Ahmad Shalimin Ahmad Shafie but to no avail.
“The state can conduct its own health survey to see if there is any truth to our claims but for now, we need a solution to this long-standing issue.
“We are also living in fear as cracks have started appearing on the walls and flooring of some of the houses following the blasting last November.
“Our question is why was a housing project approved so close to a cement factory and quarry some 35 years ago?
“The distance between the quarry and the houses is only about 500m and all this is due to the negligence by the authorities, but we and our children are the ones paying for it,” he added.
Dr Zambry told reporters later that he had instructed Dr Mah to look into the matter.
“I want all relevant authorities to carry out an in-depth study into the complaints brought up by these residents,” he said, adding that a study would be headed by Dr Mah.
Dr Zambry also suggested that perhaps the factory could install chimneys with a better filtration system as well as having water sprinklers to reduce dust pollution.