May 28, 2008 By RASLAN BAHAROM
SAND mining activities in Perak, which has large tracks of disused ex-mining land, have brought good income to the state.
However, villagers, especially in Trong, Taiping, said such activities should be stopped or closely monitored.
“There were no crater-like formations here previously but now the land is in a mess,” said Trong village chief Othman Hasan who accompanied Bukit Gantang MP Roslan Shahrum to a site owned by the Perak State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).
Othman said the site was a levelled one a few years ago but sand mining activities had made it unsuitable for any economic activity.
Villagers breifing Roslan (second right) on sand mining activities which have left large craters at Trong.
“Sand contractors are filling up some construction needs in some other states or locations but we are left with these large unsightly craters,” said Othman who suggested that such SEDC-owned land be leased out to villagers to grow vegetables or other crops instead.
Othman said the previous Barisan Nasional-led state government had wanted to set up some industries in the vicinity but the plan was dropped for some unknown reasons.
Villagers in the vicinity claimed that the sand mining activity there was illegal but Roslan, who contacted an officer from the Larut Matang land office on the spot, was informed that a local contractor had been issued with a three-month sand mining lease due to expire in June.
Nevertheless, Roslan said he would bring up the matter to the attention of the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government to stop the activity.
“If I am not mistaken, an excavated sand mining site must be levelled back but this is not done and the large craters created may eventually be clogged with water, and thus endangering the residents’ safety,” he said.
Another villager Zainal Ayub said the sand mining operation could cause erosion to a nearby housing scheme.
Earlier, at a dialogue with Roslan at nearby Kampung Air Terjun, resident Liew Kam Choon said street lights were needed to discourage the theft of telephone cables.
Another resident, Zainudin Zainal, 30, said a football field should be provided in Trong.
“Youngsters here have to play at a school field here which should be reserved for school-related activities,” said Zainuddin.
He suggested that a sand mining location in the vicinity owned by the SEDC be turned into a football field instead.
“Though the state government or the SEDC may not be able to make much money from a football field, recreational activities should be promoted among youngsters to discourage them from becoming Mat Rempit or indulging in other immoral activities,” he said.
Roslan said he would try his best to solve the problems.