GURUN: Nearly 200 residents of Kampung Masjid Lama, Jeniang, near here have raised concern over the sand mining project being carried out in Sungai Muda in the village, claiming that the activity is threatening their safety.

They claim that the project, which started in early January, could also cause erosion at the location of the Jeniang Bridge, which is only about 900 metres away from the project site.

A resident, Abdul Majid Sudin, 55, said it upset him to see that the sand-mining activity was still carried out even though the mining area was nearing the river bank and the bridge.

“In the area, located about 1,000 metres from the Jeniang Bridge is the Safwan Mosque as well as a cemetery, and the Tuan Guru Haji Sulong Mosque, which is only 320 metres from the sand quarry site,” he said when met by reporters here.

Abdul Majid claimed that the sand-mining activity also affected the beauty of the river.

“The river water has become murky and the river has also become deep which is dangerous for children who are used to bathing there,” he said, adding that the sand mining activity is also affecting the ecosystem of the river.

Another resident, Ahmad Nazori Abdul, 42, said a soil erosion incident occurred behind his house recently and since then he has been having sleepless nights for fear that it would happen again, especially with the sand mining activity going on nearby.

As for Mazli Zainol, 49, he said the dust caused by the sand mining activity, and the loud noise from the machines, are affecting the lives of the people in the village.

“With the dry season now, the dust is worse. I have to go to the hospital almost every week because of my breathing problems, and the house is dusty,” said the father of four children.

Meanwhile, the Kedah chairman of an environmental organisation known as Pertubuhan Alam Sekitar Sejahtera Malaysia (GRASS), Mohd Sobri Ramlee said he had conveyed the matter to the relevant authorities, including the Drainage and Irrigation Department and Department of Environment (DOE).

“This sand mining activity has to stop. Otherwise, the situation will worsen and the erosion will get closer to the Jeniang Bridge,” he said.

Mohd Sobri said the frequency of the lorries going in and out of the quarry site and via the main road was also a worrying sight, especially regarding the safety of children using the road when the school reopens soon. - Bernama

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