Friday September 14, 2012
Another hole discovered in Teluk Air Tawar
BUTTERWORTH: Just a month after the discovery of a gaping hole allegedly caused by illegal sand mining activities in Teluk Air Tawar here, a similar “crater” has been found about 1km away.
While the previous one was said to be the size of a swimming pool, this one is smaller, measuring about 20m wide and 3m deep.
Teacher Chen Thean Hock, 43, who lives in a residential area opposite SJK (C) Aik Keow near where the earlier hole was found, said he noticed many trucks parked on a service road nearby.
“We saw excavators and trucks heading toward an open space that was boarded up with tin sheets behind our housing scheme.
“Initially we thought a new phase was being developed in the same housing area,” he said when officers from the Seberang Prai Municipal Council issued a stop-work order and temporarily sealed the place yesterday.
Municipal councillor Soon Lip Chee said the “new hole”, believed to have been dug up since Wednesday, was located within a 5.2ha vacant plot of land, facing the open sea.
He said the council ordered the sand mining operator to stop all earthworks, remove all machinery and vehicles from the site, cover up the hole and clean up a mud-stained service road.
He said the developer should inform the council before proceeding with a new development phase within the same scheme.
Soon said an officer from the current developer later told him that the company was aware of the ongoing earthwork at the particular site, which belonged to them.
“But the officer said they thought the earthwork permission obtained back in 1999 was sufficient to carry out necessary work there. The officer said the company would refer the matter to its consultants for the next course of action,” he said.