Illegal sand mining continues in Klang Valley

Sand mining operations in Taman Perindustrian Puchong are in full swing. — Picture by Mohd Izzul Elyas
Sand mining operations in Taman Perindustrian Puchong are in full swing. — Picture by Mohd Izzul Elyas

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PETALING JAYA, June 3 — Illegal sand mining activities continue unabated in the Klang Valley — and the Land Office concedes it is too shorthanded to deal with the problem.

In the past few weeks, Malay Mail visited four illegal mining sites — one each in Taman Sri Manja (Old Klang Road) and Taman Perindustrian Puchong, and two in Taman Puchong Prima.

Our observations revealed mining was done in broad daylight despite the operators not having permits.

The activities have created environmental problems, including dusty and dirty roads caused by lorries transporting the sand. The lake at Taman Perindustrian Puchong has also been turned into a dumping site.

A Land Office spokesman claimed they lacked the manpower to act against the illegal operators.

The state government is losing hundreds of thousands monthly because of the illegal activities.

Residents had alerted Malay Mail Hotline about the mining site at Taman Sri Manja last year. Following a series of articles on December 5 and 24, 2013, and January 7 this year, the Land Office promised action.

According to documents sighted by Malay Mail, Selangor sand mining concessionaire Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB) had also highlighted this issue to the Land Office and the Selangor Land and Mines Department since last October but no action had been taken.

In a letter to the Selangor Land and Mines Department on October 25, 2013, KSSB revealed there were illegal sand mining activities in Taman Puchong Prima.

“This illegal activity is done in the open near residential areas, and we also observed sand being brought in to be processed and kept there. The lorries start transporting from as early as 5am daily,” it wrote.

KSSB also wrote to the Petaling District and Land Office on February 13 to inform it about the activities in Taman Perindustrian Puchong.

Both letters were signed by KSSB chief executive officer Datuk Azimuddin Bahari.

Azimuddin, in a statement last Wednesday, said: “The sites in Taman Perindustrian Puchong and Taman Puchong Prima were reported to the relevant authorities for enforcement. The site in Taman Sri Manja is still illegal.”

KSSB does not have enforcement authority as the power lies with the Land Office and the Selangor Land and

Mines Department.

The state government was alerted to the issue. A spokespman from the menteri besar’s office said: “Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has been alerted on this issue and is looking into the matter.”

Those in the industry claim the current market price for sand is about RM600 per lorry. Residents claim lorries tend to make close to 40 trips in and out of the area daily.

According to KSSB, illegal sites tend to sell the sand at RM32 per tonne and sell an average of 2,000 tonnes daily.

The state government is said to be losing RM500,000 per month due to such illegal activities.