IPOH, Dec 2 — The Ministry of Local Government Development (KPKT) has given campsite operators a period of at least two years to comply with the Campsite Planning Guidelines (GPP) issued today.

Its minister Nga Kor Ming said the guidelines, which come into effect this month, are intended to be a guide to the management and operation of campsites for the authorities, entrepreneurs and campsite operators as well as the public.

“We made these guidelines not to punish anyone, but to help existing and new campsite operators as we encountered feedback from those who do not know how to comply with the guidelines.

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“The preparation of this GPP is due to the landslide tragedy at a campsite in Batang Kali, Selangor, on December 16 last year which claimed 31 lives,” he said at a press conference after launching the GPP at Taman D.R Seenivasagam here today.

Commenting further, Nga said the six guiding principles of camp site planning cover safety, comfort, sustainability, social continuity, economic prosperity and legal compliance.

Nga said all six principles of the guidelines must be followed so that visitors to the licensed camping site will feel assuredly safe, such as camping sites need to be at least 10 metres apart from waterfall areas.

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He said the Town and Country Planning Department (PLANMalaysia) took four months to complete the GPP through a series of engagements and expert input sharing sessions with agencies including the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC), Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Works Ministry, local authorities and 150 campsite operators from all over the country.

According to him, there are a number of things about GPP that need to be streamlined by KPKT, among them the need for assessment before a campsite is set up for operation, as well as an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

“There must also be strict regulation and management of campsites, with a scope of inspection and maintenance and grading requirements for tourist accommodation which includes glamping campsites,” he said.

On December 16 last year, the landslide that occurred at 2.30am at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite in Batang Kali involved 92 campers, with 61 survivors and 31 were killed after the landslide buried the campsite.

Security personnel spent nine days in a search and rescue (SAR) operation at the scene to find victims buried in the landslide.

The tragedy was the second deadliest incident after the collapse of the Highland Towers Condominium in 1992 which claimed 48 lives. — Bernama