The intrusion into the water catchment area in Bukit Merah can threaten the raw water source.

By Zaki Salleh
Photo: Wat Kamal Abas

BAGAN SERAI: Illegal land encroachment activities have been detected in the Bukit Merah reservoir catchment area, raising concerns about potential impacts on the ecosystem as a raw water source.

The affected area spans 15,378 hectares.

District Officer of Kerian, Mohd Sabli Bakri, stated that they received information from the public regarding the encroachment.

Upon investigation, it was found that intruders were excavating the reservoir and reclaiming land, suspected for agricultural purposes.

“The intruders have entered the area, which serves as a reservoir for clean water supply in the Northern Perak region.

“The area is currently undergoing gazettement and is being maintained by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage,” he said.

He said, structures such as workers’ houses and storage facilities have been built on the land, indicating that activities have already commenced.

“This area is somewhat secluded, making it difficult to detect, allowing the encroachment to take place.

“Committing this encroachment on government land is a violation under Section 425(1)(b) of the National Land Code (Act 828),” he added.

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