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Noise and stink driving customers away

 | August 3, 2012

Businesses in Taman Marida, Senawang, suffer from assault from biodiesel plant.

SENAWANG: A foul odor and a deafening noise have been making life miserable for the last two years for the neighborhood of Taman Marida here.

Both of the annoyances come from a factory producing biodiesel that is located opposite a row of shophouses in the main business section of the community.

Senawang State Assemblymen P Gunasekaran, who took journalists on a tour of the area yesterday, said that previously there was a problem with carbon dust as well, but the Department of Environment (DOE) apparently did something about that after he lodged a complaint last year.

“The shop owners are not reporting anymore dust pollution problem, but the noise and smell persist,” he said, shouting out the words to make sure he could be heard above the din.

He said he complained again in January and June this year.

“DOE responded by saying the situation is not dangerous, but it also said it would send inspectors to check if there is any hazard.

“But till today, the noise and smell are still there, as you can tell.”

Melissa Loh, whose shop sells and installs car accessories, told FMT there were variations in the intensity of the noise throughout the day.

“It is sometimes louder than what you hear now,” she screamed. “Both of us are raising our voices, right? This is what I go through with my staff and customers every day.”

She said the noise would sometimes cause her to suffer headaches.

“In fact, some customers have also complained that they get instant headaches,” she added, as she reached for a handkerchief to cover her nose against the foul smell.

Tan Yong Soon, who owns a grocery shop and lives on the upper floor of his shophouse, said he seldom got enough sleep.

“How to sleep with the noise and the smell?” he said, but admitted that the assault on the nose was not as constant as the assault on the ears.

He added that the noise seemed to be louder in the night.

Raymond Heow, who sells stationery, echoed other shop owners when he said his business had declined since the biodiesel factory began operations two years ago.

“Sometimes customers assume the smell comes from my shop,” he said. “This is a very serious image problem from me. If they happen to ask me, then I’ll explain that it comes from the factory. But if they don’t ask, they’ll probably assume that my shop is not hygienic.”

Gunasekaran promised to raise the issue at the next Negeri Sembilan State Assembly sitting, scheduled for November.

“I hope DOE and the Seremban Municipal Council will do something about this,” he said.


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