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GEORGE TOWN, April 27 -- Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has urged the authorities to address the issue of pollution in the factory areas near Taman Industri Seri Juru, Seberang Perai Tengah district (SPT) which are allegedly discharging wastes to contaminate the marine ecosystem and surrounding areas.
Its president Meenakshi Raman said a recent survey found that most of the factories operating in the area are in heavy industry and some factories did not even display factory signboards.
"There is also dumping of plastic waste packages which can be seen clearly from the outside as well as in the compound of the premises.
"We also found that several aquaculture ponds operating next to the industrial site have turned black and are emanated foul odour as if contaminated with untreated sewage waste and other pollutants," she said in a statement here today.
She said SAM's concern was about the water quality in the area as there are estuaries nearby which could clearly affect marine life as well as adversely affect the fishing community living nearby.
"In fact, after speaking with some anglers in the area we have learnt that they often see thick black water entering the sluice and then released into Sungai Jawi which is feared to have a negative impact on the life in the surrounding," she said.
Meenakshi also urged the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP), Penang Department of Environment (DOE), Department of Irrigation and Drainage Penang (JPS) and also the SPT Land and District Office to conduct surveys and investigations on factories that operate at Taman Industri Seri Juru in terms of licence, land ownership status, drainage system as well as finding out the source of waste discharged whether treated or otherwise.
Meanwhile, Penang DOE director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab when contacted said her department often received complaints on pollution issues but advised the public to channel accurate information to enable DOE members to conduct further investigations.
"Every day, many complaints are lodged but mostly inaccurate so the public is advised to provide clear and accurate information to the DOE to take further action.
"If the allegation is true (pollution at the Seri Juru Industrial Park), (the public) should immediately contact the DOE so that we can take appropriate action," she said.