Close to a million tyres to be removed

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The used tyres in the Zhen Han Ann Tyres Recycles Sdn Bhd compound at 9th Mile, Jalan Kuching-Serian will be fully removed to the company’s factory at Kota Samarahan Industrial Estate by the end of this month.Samarahan District Council (MDS) Walikota Frederick Bayoi Manggie yesterday assured concerned residents in the area that the company had been cooperating with the council and was expected to finish clearing the three hectares of land of the tyres by the end of the year.

“We have advised them not to dump or store tyres here. We gave reminders, followed by a warning, then a compound. In fact, we have compounded them several times,” said Bayoi, who is also Kedup assemblyman.

He said he paid the company a visit in 2007, telling that he would bring the matter up in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) if the company still didn’t take a proactive action.

“After that visit, they came to see us and we came to an agreement,” he said.

According to him, the agreement included the company’s plan to move some 800,000 tyres to the industrial estate, and to ensure that the tyres would not become mosquito breeding ground.

Besides, he said, the company also assured that the tyres would not become a potent fire-risk.

“With this agreement, how can I bring this to DUN? I do not have to bring this to DUN because they are willing to work with us,” he said.

“When people want to work with you, you don’t sue them,” he added.

Bayoi was responding to Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong’s allegations in the recent DUN sitting that MDS was not taking any action to alleviate the woes of the residents in the area.

He also explained that the Land and Survey Depart­ment found it difficult to fine the company or take any action because they were not infringing any land laws.

“Any land title issued to owners will have its usage specified, be it agriculture, residential or industrial. This one is marked ‘nil’,” Bayoi explained.

Bayoi believed that the land was one of the lots given out during the Brooke government, which was probably why its usage was never specified.

About three-quarters of the tyres have been moved since.

Bayoi said he was also pleased to note that it was now possible to stand there and not get bitten by mosquitoes.

He appealed to all used tyre entrepreneurs wanting to do business in Samarahan to see the council first.

He also urged residents to work together in keeping the area clean.

Also present were Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) officers as well as officers from MDS.

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