Constant surveillance proves effective in curbing problem
By Nevash Nair
email@example.com The Malay Mail
Klang Municipal Council’s daily monitoring of open burning has forced irresponsible farmers and land owners to stop the practice.
Johan Setia, one of the most prone areas for open burning and a major cause for the poor air quality in the Klang Valley, has improved tremendously over the past month after the council started monitoring the area daily.
It started monitoring hotspots in Klang round-the-clock since last September and will continue doing so throughout this year.
Officers also produce a daily report accessible on their website that clearly shows an improvement in the situation.
It was learnt that the open burning was caused by irresponsible farmers who were clearing their land after the recent harvest season.
"By burning, farmers can cut costs, as they do not have to hire more hands to help clear the land. Also, by setting fires, the farmers get to clear a larger area in a shorter time," said a source.
Residents of Bandar Botanic slammed the State government for not being proactive against open burning and called for immediate action.
Soon after, State executive councillor for Environment, Tourism and Consumer Affairs Elizabeth Wong ordered the council to carry out z4-hour surveillance to curb the problem.
A resident of Bandar Botanic, Bala Kumatan, 53, applauded the council's hard work and the State government for taking action to stop open burning.
"This is the first time I believe the council is working round the clock to stop irresponsible farmers engaging in open burning. I read their report every day on their website and we know that the officers are doing something. The conditions have been improving, so kudos to them."
Another resident said she wanted the council to carry on the 24-hour monitoring throughout the year and not just during the dry season.
The Fire and Rescue Department is also working with MPK to put out open fires.
Anybody with information on open burning in Klang can call the council's 24-hour hotline at 03-33714404.