KUCHING: The owner of a 2.2-acre piece of land at Jalan Stapok near Sungai Maong bridge here used as a waste dump has been given a seven-working day notice to clear the site.
If the owner failed to do so, he would face further action from the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB).
When met at the site yesterday, NREB enforcement officer Rahman Nor said the land had been used as a dumping ground since last Dec 27.
The land owner has until tomorrow to complete the clearing work.
“NREB takes this matter very seriously because the site is located next to Sungai Maong, a spot which happens to be one of the water sampling points in the city,” Rahman said.
He said the site was an eyesore, adding the waste even spilled into the river.
“When it rains, the river becomes more contaminated,” the officer said.
It is learnt that the land belongs to a company and the company has been ordered to send the waste from the site to the Trienekens dumping ground at Mambong near here.
“We will take stern action and we are in the process of issuing the compound regardless the clearing work is completed on time or not.
“We want to give a strong message to all irresponsible quarters out there that seem to enjoy dumping their waste anywhere they wish,” Rahman added.
Under the NREB Ordinance, the officer said land owners could be charged under Section 30(1)(b) of the ordinance for illegal dumping of solid wastes by individual.
The offence carries a maximum fine of RM20,000.
In addition, if NREB concluded that rivers were polluted by wastes from a site, the land owners can be charged under Section 30(A) of the ordinance for illegal discharge of toxic substance into inland water.
The offence carries a maximum fine of RM50,000.
Rahman also said NREB had been monitoring the clearing work and inspected the site daily.
A nearby resident who requested anonymity said she was pleased to note that the authorities had acted on the matter immediately.
She said even though the site was properly fenced, the stench from the site was unbearable.
“I hope that stern action will be taken.
“We understand that it is a private property and the owners can do as they pleased, but please respect other people and the environment as well,” she added.