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Mon, Jun 16, 2008
AsiaOne
Clean-up of Johor Straits to begin in September
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JOHOR BARU, MALAYSIA: One of the biggest operations to clean up the heavily polluted Johor Straits will begin when construction of the proposed RM2.7 billion Lido Boulevard starts here in September.

The developer of the mega waterfront project, Central Malaysian Properties Sdn Bhd (CMP), has secured full environmental impact assessment (EIA) approvals to spearhead building works.

It will involve plans to improve water quality and check pollution in the straits.

A hydrology study in 2002, commissioned by Gerbang Perdana, builder of the scrapped bridge to replace the Causeway, found Johor Straits to be heavily polluted with heavy metals, sewage and leachate.

The pollutants, accumulated over the years, were trapped on both sides of the 88-year-old Causeway, making the straits the most polluted waterway in the country.

"The Lido Boulevard project will completely rehabilitate a major stretch of Lido beach," said CMP managing director Datuk Chan Tien Ghee.

He said the environmental protection and mitigation efforts, expected to cost millions of ringgit, would include opening two blocked culverts under the Causeway to release the "dead water" in the straits.

CMP will also erect a massive silt curtain and sand bund to trap discharged sediment.

Sophisticated devices will also be installed at strategic spots along the project site during the pre-construction stage to monitor soil movement, noise, air and water quality.

Lido Boulevard, an integrated residential-cum-commercial development, will be built on reclaimed land at a 2.4km stretch of Lido beach.

The 49.3ha privatisation project is a joint venture between State Secretary Incorporated (a Johor government investment company), the Johor government and CMP.

The project is one of the biggest private finance initiatives to date within the Iskandar development region.

When developed, the project has the potential to change the Johor Baru skyline and raise the city's profile internationally.

Chan said CMP would strictly adhere to the EIA conditions to protect marine life, the coastal environment and the livelihood of fishermen.

"We will put in place an emergency response plan and an environmental management plan to deal with any environmental issues.

"We've also set up a humanitarian and environmental fund to address any social and environmental issues arising from this development."

The fund will be administered by an independent board of trustees.
 

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