JASIN (May 24): The Melaka state government will set up a special committee to ensure pollution in the Melaka River does not recur.
Chief Minister Adly Zahari said the establishment of the special committee led by the Melaka River and Coastal Development Corporation will see to this, adding priority would be to find the root cause as to why hundreds of fish died and why the (Melaka) river turned black.
"So far, what we have identified is that the meeting of freshwater and saltwater from the sea caused the fish to die. This phenomenon also occurred in 2015.
"The Melaka River is a tourist area and through the establishment of this committee, we will identify the type of controls we can carry out over the long term to ensure the quality of our rivers,” he told reporters after opening the Ramadan Inspiration Programme of the state-level Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) Melaka.
The event was held at the Al-Muttaqin Mosque, Kampung Tedong, Merlimau, here yesterday.
He said the committee would also discuss main measures to control the influx of water through an enhanced barrage system as well as ensure better river management in the future.
Meanwhile, Adly said unreleased water for long periods at the Batu Hampar dam could have been one of of the main reasons for the discolouration of the Melaka River, besides environment effects.
“However, we believe that the situation will be back to normal when it rains. In fact, the Melaka River Cruise boat service is still continuing.
“We believe the barrage system problem in the Melaka River will be solved if our RM15 million application is approved by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry,” he said.
On Monday, the media reported that the state government wanted the Department of Environment (DOE) in Melaka to investigate why the Melaka River had turned dark and emitted a foul smell.
Meanwhile at the same event, YaPEIM board member Mokhtar Ramli said that a total of RM168,500 had been allocated to the foundation (YaPEIM) to assist 1,600 disadvantaged people in Melaka through the Ramadan Inspiration programme this year.
He said out of this, 1,000 recipients were underprivileged children, adding that YaPEIM had also allocated RM2.5 million to be distributed to 14,000 recipients nationwide including orphans and those from underprivileged backgrounds.
Meanwhile, Adly when met after the launch of the programme said he welcomed the efforts made by YaPEIM, as it helped to lessen the burden of the recipients. — Bernama