August 5, 2008

Company Faces Open-Burning Charge

PUTRAJAYA: The Selangor Department of Environment (DOE) is ready to charge the company which deliberately burnt peat land along the Elite Highway in Dengkil, causing the haze in the Klang Valley.

State DOE director Che Asmah Ibrahim said yesterday that the department had been monitoring the site and investigations showed that the burning was started in phases by the company's workers as a quick and easy way to clear land for a honeydew melon and starfruit project.

She said her officers had completed their investigations, and the papers were submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers yesterday.

"We have strong evidence to charge them in court."

Che Asmah hoped the court would mete out a strong deterrent as a warning to other open-burning offenders.

To date, the total area affected is more than 100ha along Km25.5 of the Elite Highway near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department operations assistant director Assistant Commissioner Abdul Razak Muda said it would take between two weeks and a month to put the fires out.

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