By Abdul Hakim Bujang
Source: Sarawak Update
Frustrated contractors who are unable to secure the clearing job for Bakun Dam biomass is believed to have spread false information as an act of revenge to demonised the government, said Natural Resources Environmental Board (NREB) controller, Dr Penguang Mangil.
“I have the contract with me here and all the figure put up by the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) are wrong,” Dr. Penguang told Sarawak Update in a telephone conversation.
He said the NGO was confused between the size of reservoir and the area that have to be cleared for safety reason and eco-tourism potential.
“The reservoir size is the size of Singapore but they are not clearing all of them. They will only be clearing at the elevation 180 meter to elevation 228 meter above sea level within 15 kilometer radius of Bakun Dam which is only about 455 hectare,” Penguang explained.
The areas beyond that would not be cleared at all and the allegation by the NGO is completely wrong.
“I believe there is some motive because many are angry at not getting the job contract, there are so many applicants of course not all will be getting the job,” he said.
Penguang also explained that areas with slope more than 35 degrees within the stipulated area earmarked for clearing would not be touched to avoid erosion and environmental disaster.
Penguang said they have frozen all burning permit since the beginning of the dry weather and all the existing fire are mainly bush fires in peat area.
“The peat fires are happening in Miri, Sibu and Mukah. The problem with peat fire is you are not going to see the flame but there will be a lot of white smoke,” he explained.
He said the public should stop pointing fingers and have a closer look at the Satelitte imagery of haze map that clearly shows big fire beneath Kuching and Kota Samarahan, but across the Sarawak border.
Penguang said the authorities are working closely together to monitor bush fire as the following week is expected to witness the return of the dry South Westerly wind.
“Now we are still enjoying the rather wet South Easterly that blow the haze away from our direction but once the South Westerly wind came it would be (different story),” he said.
He called upon the so called concern NGO to come forward and tell NREB what can they do to help mitigate the bush fire and stop whining and complaining that government is not doing anything.
“The police, army, local councils and us are working together, the fire brigade are working around the clock to put out the bush fire, what have the NGO do and please tell us which area they could help fight this peat fire in this kind of weather?” he asked.