The Pahang state government has demolished 121 hectares of illegal plantations in Cameron Highlands in operations which began on Feb 25.
State secretary Dr Sallehuddin Ishak said the first phase of the operation, involving 11 plantations, was expected to end in mid-March while the second phase scheduled for April would involve 50 farms.
He said the operation was being carried out to restore the glory of Cameron Highlands, which used to be described as the ‘darling of Malaysia’, as well as to ensure the sustainability of the river water in the area.
“These illegal farming areas are located right in front of the intake point of the Sungai Ichat dam which supplies 70 percent of clean water in the Cameron Highlands area.
“Because of this, Sungai Ichat dam has been forced to shut down due to contamination from agricultural activities due to the use of pesticides and fertilisers,” he said.
Sallehuddin said this after launching the Pahang State Tafaqquh Fiddin programme at the Main Hall of the Pahang Yayasan Complex here today.
He also denied farmers were being given short notice because notice was issued annually to those living on illegal land.
“We have been issuing warning notices from 2009 which means for almost 10 years. So the seven-day notice period (this time) is reasonable,” he said.