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Pay and ‘we shall vacate’
29/01/2008 The Star By Hah Foong Lian

So big: Chang looking at a piece of stone found in one of the houses. With him are the residents.

TAMAN Dovenby residents, who have been facing problems of dust and vibrations from a nearby quarry, want the Perak state government to compensate them instead of giving them alternative housing.

Perak Urban and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Chang Ko Youn said he had discussed with the residents who wanted to be paid to vacate their houses.

Chang said that in 1999, the residents began living at the housing estate located near a cement plant in Kanthan, near Sungai Siput, and started experiencing noise and dust pollution in 2001.

“The cement plant managers had taken steps to alleviate the pollution but the dust pollution and vibration from the limestone hill blasting still persist,” he said after meeting the residents recently.

The residents claimed that the health of their children was affected because of the dust pollution, he said.

He added the residents alleged that cracks had started to appear on the houses because of the blasting.

There are 90 houses in the housing area which is located some 600m from the limestone hills.

However, 36 families had moved out because of the pollution, he added.

The cement plant managers had suggested that the residents be given alternative lodging at Rimba Panjang, about 2km from their housing area, Chang said.

He said the state Valuation Department had valued the houses and the residents were now requesting that they be paid between 10% and 20% higher than the valuation by the department.

The houses originally cost between RM25,000 and RM29,000 each.

“I will discuss the residents’ proposal with the relevant parties and hope the problem will be settled quickly,” Chang said.

He said the state government would buy back the houses, demolish them and turn the area into a buffer zone for the cement plant and hill blasting.

“It is not fair for the cement plant to move out. It had been there since the 1960s and it had also put in an investment of over RM1bil,” Chang said, adding that the factory was the economic lifeline for the people of Sungai Siput.


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