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Portal Rasmi
Majlis Perbandaran Sibu

SMC chairman: Dumpsite fire could take time to extinguish as it lies underground
Tarikh : 09 Oct 2019  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online (Peter Boon)

A photo from Ting’s Facebook account showing the thick smoke coming from the Seng Ling dumpsite.

A photo from Ting’s Facebook account showing the thick smoke coming from the Seng Ling dumpsite.

SIBU: The underground fire at the closed Seng Ling dumpsite could take much longer to put out as the affected site needs to be dug out and filled with earth.

A fire engine was spotted entering the dumpsite this morning, which also housed squatters.

It is learned that they are waiting for SMC to carry out the digging works.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting said the council has requested for Sibu Water Board (SWB) to provide assistance to reinstall the water supply.

“We only have one water tank and will get SWB to provide mobile service (water tanks).

“We take this as a serious situation as (it can pollute) the air. We have asked a contractor to use an excavator to dig up the site, to get to the underground fire, and then fill it with earth.

“Because the area is vast, we don’t know long how it will take (to put out the fire). But we will do our level best to put out the fire as soon as possible,” he said when met at the site today.

For the record, the landfill at Seng Ling Road here was officially closed in April this year, after having served its purpose over the last 18 years.

A trench was dug across the access road to the landfill to stop vehicles from entering the area.

It was reported that since its creation in 2001, the landfill had been frequented by scavengers, a number of whom had become squatters there.

It was also reported back in September 2011, that then SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King had said the landfill at Seng Ling Road might continue to burn for a fortnight as the fire has reached the peat soil underneath where waste had accumulated for years.

Meanwhile, Ting noted that the site was closed in April this year and handed back to the Land and Survey Department.

“SMC went to visit the Land and Survey Department yesterday (Tuesday) to discuss this matter.

“Hopefully we can gain control of the site again so we can reduce incidences of fires like this. We have already drafted a letter and sent it to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing asking for such permission (to take back the management of the site).”

He also said the land leading up to the site was private.

“Unless the landowners make an official complaint (to the Land and Survey Department), the police can’t enter (to remove the squatters). This has nothing to do with SMC,” he said.

“I think this issue was brought up during the previous State Legislative Assembly (DUN),” Ting recounted.

On the cause of fire, he was uncertain.

“No idea what is the cause of fire. The methane gas released from the old dump site could be the main cause,” Ting said.

Meanwhile, it is learned there are about 50 squatters living in the area.