An environmental protection group, Gabungan Selamatkan Pesisir Pantai Melaka (SOS Melaka), has raised concerns about the proposed 121.4ha land reclamation project off Melaka’s coast, urging the department of environment to reject the environmental impact assessment (EIA) submitted by the developer in October.
Meanwhile, the group also called for the public to submit their objections to the EIA on the basis that the project will bring huge negative environment impact.
According to FMT, the EIA report was submitted by Konsortium Pembangunan Tanah Laut (Melaka) Sdn Bhd and it involves land reclamation off the coast of Klebang and near Pulau Upeh as part of the development of the Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone.
In a statement, SOS Melaka said the previous reclamation has produced severe pollution, including oil spills from ships. The proposed environmental management plan (EMP) is not sufficient to preserve and conserve the natural treasures that will be destroyed.
In addition, SOS Melaka claimed that the project will affect fishing areas along the coasts Klebang and Tanjung Kling, which even the department of fisheries had noted in the EIA report submitted.
It is said that such reclamation project will also make it difficult for rainwater to flow into the sea, thus causing more frequent flooding.
Besides, Pulau Upeh is also known as a place for turtle landing. SOS Melaka then pointed out that the EIA had recognised that previous reclamation projects had impacted similar landings.
“Therefore, this project will worsen the situation.”
“The project also contradicts the 3rd National Physical Plan (NPP3) which states that land reclamation is not permitted in environmentally sensitive areas, with turtle landing areas classified as Level 1 (in terms of sensitivity).” the group said, adding that the project is not consistent with NPP3’s requirement that land reclamation projects need to demonstrate significant socio-economic benefits at the state and federal level.
SOS Melaka also said the EIA showed that part of the project overlapped with areas gazetted as protected zones, and failed to take into account the historical value of nearby Pulau Upeh.
“We strongly oppose this land reclamation project,”
“We urge the department of environment to not approve the EIA report in order to preserve the environment and the interests of local people.” SOS Melaka said.