IPOH: Aug 7, 2008 By SYLVIA LOOI
Residents living around Fair Park here had a temporary reprieve from the dust pollution problem when a nearby cement factory stopped one of its plants for maintenance work.
However, the problem returned two weeks ago and it is now affecting them again.
Residents Action Committee secretary Sonny Leong said the committee recorded reduced dust pollution between June 12 and 27 when one of the factory's production lines was shut down for maintenance.
"But with the problem recurring, the people's health and property are suffering," he told a press conference here Thursday organised by Perak Health, Environment and Human Resources Committee chairman A. Sivanesan.
Leong noted that after the residents highlighted their plight to the Pakatan Rakyat state government in April, the situation saw a marked improvement to the 15-year-old problem.
"We hoped that the state would get the DOE (Department of Environment) and Health Department to help resolve the current situation," he said.
However, a representative of the factory, who was also present, refused to acknowledge that the dust pollution originated from the factory.
"Any industrial activity will generate dust," he said.
The representative pointed out that the factory had carried out remedial works worth more than RM1mil aimed at improving the situation.
He added that the DOE would visit the plant every month and so far there had been no negative feedback from the department's officers.
"Our door is always open and the residents should come and see us rather than going to the press," he said.
Expressing satisfaction that there had been improvement to the situation, Sivanesan said it could be further improved.
He also noted that over the years, the factory had been slapped with nine compounds from the DOE for failure to comply with regulations on dust emission.
"But from April until now, no compounds had been issued," he said.