Penang govt urged to appoint independent body for hillslope project approvals

GEORGE TOWN: The DAP-led Penang government has been urged to appoint an independent body to audit the approvals given by its local authorities for hillslope development projects statewide.

Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said this followed the approval given to the affordable housing project at Lengkok Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah here despite not being supported by the Department of Environment (DoE), which resulted in the deaths of 11 workers during the landslide in the area last Saturday.

“We want to know how a project that has not been supported by a technical department can still be approved by the local authority,” he said in a statement here today.

The DoE, in a statement yesterday, stated that it did not support the developer’s application to start the planning of the project because there were no sufficient buffer zones between the apartment project and the quarrying activities nearby according to the Guidelines of Sitting and Zoning Industries and Residential Areas.

The quarrying activities are only 162 metres away from the crushing site and between 400 to 500 metres from the blasting site of the quarry.

Source: Bernama