Erosion on Penang coastal highway threatens lives, says NGO

Modified 9 Jun 2016, 6:54 am

Penang-based environment NGO Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has expressed deep concern over the coastal erosion in a section of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR).

BORR is a tolled coastal expressway in Butterworth, mainland Penang, which measures 14 km and connects Sungai Dua in the north to Perai in the south.

SAM president SM Mohamed Idris claimed the erosion on the expressway, which first opened to the public on Jan 2007, was becoming “critical” as it was purportedly closing in on the BORR.

Idris urged the concessionaire for BORR, the Penang government and other relevant agencies like Lingkaran Lebuh Raya Butterworth (Penang) Sdn. Bhd. (LLB), the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to investigate the matter immediately.

“If the situation persists, not only the motorway will be eroded but it would also threaten the safety of road users,” said Idris, in a statement today.

Idris said NGO was startled by the coastal erosion it discovered in a recent survey, and wondered why the LLB had not taken swift action to resolve the problem. 

He said SAM had also found that the coastal water was red and garbage was adrift, marring the environment here.

“Members of the public whom we met said that they are concerned because strong waves that caused the coastal erosion are rapidly approaching the highway. 

“If the situation is left unchecked, their safety and lives are threatened,” warned Idris.

Idris said LLB had been informed of this erosion problem but it had not taken any remedial action.

He cautioned that the impact would worsen if the matter was not dealt with immediately.

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