Melaka river polluted, dam water to be flushed

Passengers of Melaka River Cruise complained that the water had turned black. (Bernama pic)

MELAKA: Pollution has caused the water in Melaka River to turn black and foul-smelling, with dead fish, since yesterday, especially in Taman Rempah.

The Batu Hampar Dam in Batu Berendam has been shut down immediately and will be flushed from midnight to allow the river water to flow out to sea.

Melaka state executive councillor for health, Low Chee Leong, said: “We worry that the pollution will get worse and do not want a repeat of the chemical pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang, Johor.

“We have asked the Department of the Environment and the Health Department to take immediate action and get a sample of the contaminated river water and the dead fish for analysis to find out the cause of pollution and level of seriousness.”

If the problem was not immediately resolved, Melaka River Cruise operations may be suspended, he said at a press conference at the Melaka River Cruise Jetty in Taman Rempah here today.

Also present was the chief executive officer of the Melaka River and Coastal Development Corporation, Azlan Abidin.

Azlan said about 60 corporation staff have been involved in clearing the dam of dead fish and rubbish.

“According to the initial information from PPSPM technical staff, the pollution water was from Batu Hampar and they are now outside the area to determine the source (of pollution). In Malim district too, the water has turned black like here and samples have been taken to be sent to the DOE,” he said.

Azlan said the PPSPM has received complaints from the public, including passengers on the Melaka River Cruise, of the foul smell and change in colour of the Melaka River water.