SAM: Apakah yang dipertaruhkan dalam projek tambak laut di Pulau Pinang

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The siltation along Gurney Drive

SM Mohamed Idris menggesa kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa yang berkenaan supaya mempertimbangkan semula kerja penambakan dan meneliti semula teras pembangunan di negeri ini. (English version)

Projek-projek penambakan laut yang dicadangkan di Pulau Pinang bukan hanya akan menukarkan ciri hidrologi dan geomorfik pesisiran pantai pulau ini tetapi juga menyebabkan hakisan dan enaptimbus di kawasan lain.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) bimbang projek tambak laut bukan hanya membawa kesan kepada alam sekitar tetapi juga kesan sosio- ekonomi kepada komuniti pantai termasuk nelayan.

Beberapa projek penambakan tanah telah diluluskan atau dicadangkan di bahagian timur laut, tenggara dan selatan Pulau Pinang. Antaranya ialah kerja menambak tanah untuk Seri Tanjung Pinang Fasa 2 yang juga termasuk penambakan laut di pantai Persiaran Gurney; Bayan Bay dan Bayan Mutiara; dan cadangan menambak laut di Permatang Damar Laut berdekatan Bayan Lepas bagi membiayai beberapa pakej dalam Pelan Induk Pengangkutan Pulau Pinang.

Sejak 1990an, SAM dan Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang (CAP) telah menyuarakan bantahan terhadap projek tambak laut di Pulau Pinang. Kerja menambak laut yang dijalankan lebih awal telah memberikan kesan sampingan ke atas alam sekitar contohnya hakisan di kawasan lain, kehilangan sumber laut, di samping impak terhadap hidupan laut, sumber perikanan, mengusir dan mengganggu aktiviti komuniti nelayan di kawasan itu.

Penambakan laut di kawasan Bayan Mutiara dan Bayan Bay berpotensi menyebabkan pemendapan, hakisan di kawasan bersebelahan Pulau Jerejak akibat perubahan dalam corak arus dan pengangkutan sedimen.

Tambahan pula, berdasarkan bilangan cadangan projek penambakan laut di Pulau Pinang, sejumlah besar bahan diperlukan untuk digunakan dalam kerja-kerja menambak laut. Bagaimanapun, kesan sampingan daripada pemerolehan batu dan pasir yang diperlukan untuk projek-projek ini sering terlepas pandang.

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Laporan Penilaian Kesan Kepada Alam Sekeliling projek penambakan laut itu akan mencadangkan langkah kawalan, dan pihak berkuasa berkaitan lazimnya akan meluluskan cadangan projek ini. Bagaimanapun, kerosakan yang tidak dapat dipulihkan balik seperti kehilangan kawasan perikanan dan perubahan dalam landskap Pulau Pinang tidak boleh digantikan.

SAM menggesa kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa yang berkenaan supaya mempertimbangkan semula kerja penambakan dan meneliti semula teras pembangunan di negeri ini. Kemusnahan alam sekitar dan harga yang terpaksa ditanggung oleh masyarakat dalam jangka panjang bukanlah jalan ke hadapan.

SM Mohamed Idris ialah presiden Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia)

English version:

SAM: Reclamation galore in Penang: What’s at stake

The numerous reclamation projects proposed in Penang will not only change the coastal hydrology and geomorphic of the island but also cause erosion and accretion in other areas.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is concerned that the reclamation projects will not only bring about environmental impacts but also socio-economic impacts to coastal communities including fishers.

Several land reclamation projects have been approved or proposed in the north-eastern, south-eastern and southern coasts off Penang. Among them are land reclamation works for Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 which also includes reclamation on the Gurney Drive foreshore; Bayan Bay and Bayan Mutiara; and the proposed reclamation off Permatang Damar Laut near Bayan Lepas to finance packages in the Penang Transport Master Plan.

Since the 1990s, SAM and the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) had objected to the reclamation projects in Penang. The reclamation works carried out earlier came at a price in terms of its adverse impact on the environment mainly arising from erosion in other areas, loss of coastal resources, besides impacts to marine life, fisheries resources, displacement and disrupted activities of fisher community in the areas.

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The reclamation off Bayan Mutiara and Bayan Bay has potential to cause sedimentation, erosion in the adjacent Pulau Jerejak due to change in wave pattern and sediment transport. Furthermore, given the projected reclamation projects in Penang, vast amounts of fill material is required. However, the adverse impacts of sourcing the sand and rocks required for these projects are often overlooked.

The Environmental Impact Assessment reports of the reclamation projects would indeed propose mitigation measures, and the relevant authorities would eventually approve these projects. However the irreversible damages such as loss of fishing grounds and change in the landscape of Penang island can never be supplanted.

SAM urges the State government and relevant authorities to reconsider the reclamation works and re-examine the thrust of development in the State. Environmental destruction that cost society in the long run is not the way forward.

SM Mohamed Idris is president of Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia)

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