State govt to probe concerns about quarry operations at Mile 7

Datu Len Talif Salleh - file pic

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By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, June 13: The Sarawak government will conduct a thorough investigation into the operations of CMS Quarries Sdn Bhd amidst allegations that its quarry operations at Mile 7 here are threatening the safety of residents.

In a WhatsApp message, Assistant Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Minister Datu Len Talif Salleh said “the state government will not compromise on the safety in our economic development agenda. We will investigate accordingly”.

The latest allegations were made by state Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen on June 10. He claimed that blasting operations at the quarry had raised concerns among nearby residents, particularly those from Taman Mei Lee, which is a mere 250m from the quarry.

Chong urged the state government to check whether the quarry operations had affected the soil’s integrity after residents expressed concern about the safety of their properties.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii had also raised the matter in the Dewan Rakyat in April this year, but this matter is under the state’s jurisdiction.

Dr Yii said a rock had landed in the area in December 2008, damaging two houses. He also said the residents would occasionally experience ground tremors due to blasting at the quarry.

According to a ministerial reply in Parliament, Putrajaya would write a letter to the state government requesting that a detailed study be conducted in the area to ensure that the quarry operations do not affect the integrity of the soil and the structures of the houses there.

Meanwhile, Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMS), in a statement, refuted the claim, saying the quarry never breached its legal geographical boundaries.

CMS Corporate Reputation and Communications Head Jason Lee said a third-party geotechnical report last year found that the quarry walls near the residential and commercial areas at the site were unlikely to fail.

“In addition, we continually monitor noise, vibration and dust to ensure absolute compliance with the stringent standards imposed by the relevant authorities,” he said. — DayakDaily