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Protect Bukit Larut from being Exploited

Activist: Cable car will ruin Bukit Larut

2009/07/13
By Jaspal Singh

TAIPING: The state government has been urged to protect Bukit Larut from being exploited like Cameron Highlands.

"We have seen how Cameron Highlands has deteriorated in the last two decades because of development.

"Do we want the same fate for Bukit Larut? Certainly not, I hope," says S. Piarapakaran, the secretary-general of the Water and Energy Consumer Association of Malaysia.

Piarapakaran, who is also a member of the National Environmental Quality Council under the Department of Environment, said any form of physical development on Bukit Larut would affect the hill station.

Bukit Larut is situated at 1,250m, putting it in the high-risk soil erosion area and making it one of the 14 high-risk landslide areas in the country.

Coupled with Taiping's high rainfall that results in landslides, Piarapakaran said the area experienced several naturally occurring landslides because of its weak soil structure.

"Imagine clearing forests to make way for physical development, like the proposed RM60 million cable-car project.

"It is going to create a terrible disaster which may even result in loss of lives."

Responding to state Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon's statement yesterday that the state government may reconsider scrapping the cable-car project at the hill station, Piarapakaran said the state should instead spend money to improve the roads and lighting along the way to the hill station.

"The idea of bringing more people to the hill station via the cable-car is not at all viable in the long run.

"When more people start visiting the hill, there'll be pressure to bring in more physical development to the area and this will destroy the fragile Bukit Larut."

Regional Environment Awareness of Cameron Highlands president R. Ramakrishnan said the authorities should leave Bukit Larut alone.

The Perak government should learn lessons from Cameron Highlands which had become a victim of unchecked development, he said.

TAIPING: The state government has been urged to protect Bukit Larut from being exploited like Cameron Highlands.

"We have seen how Cameron Highlands has deteriorated in the last two decades because of development.

"Do we want the same fate for Bukit Larut? Certainly not, I hope," says S. Piarapakaran, the secretary-general of the Water and Energy Consumer Association of Malaysia.

Piarapakaran, who is also a member of the National Environmental Quality Council under the Department of Environment, said any form of physical development on Bukit Larut would affect the hill station.

Bukit Larut is situated at 1,250m, putting it in the high-risk soil erosion area and making it one of the 14 high-risk landslide areas in the country.

Coupled with Taiping's high rainfall that results in landslides, Piarapakaran said the area experienced several naturally occurring landslides because of its weak soil structure.

"Imagine clearing forests to make way for physical development, like the proposed RM60 million cable-car project.

"It is going to create a terrible disaster which may even result in loss of lives."

Responding to state Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon's statement yesterday that the state government may reconsider scrapping the cable-car project at the hill station, Piarapakaran said the state should instead spend money to improve the roads and lighting along the way to the hill station.

"The idea of bringing more people to the hill station via the cable-car is not at all viable in the long run.

"When more people start visiting the hill, there'll be pressure to bring in more physical development to the area and this will destroy the fragile Bukit Larut."

Regional Environment Awareness of Cameron Highlands president R. Ramakrishnan said the authorities should leave Bukit Larut alone.

The Perak government should learn lessons from Cameron Highlands which had become a victim of unchecked development, he said.

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/21larut/Article/index_html

 
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