IPOH: The local government development ministry has given campsite operators two years to comply with the campsite planning guidelines (GPP) issued today.
Its minister, Nga Kor Ming, said the guidelines, which come into effect this month, are intended for the proper management and operation of campsites on the part of the authorities, entrepreneurs and campsite operators, and the public.
“We prepared these guidelines not to punish anyone, but to help existing and new campsite operators as we received feedback from those who did not know how to comply with the guidelines.
“The preparation of this GPP is a consequence of the landslide tragedy at a campsite in Batang Kali, Selangor, on Dec 16 last year, which claimed 31 lives,” he said at a press conference after launching the GPP at Taman D R Seenivasagam here today.
According to Nga, the six guiding principles of campsite planning cover safety, comfort, sustainability, social continuity, economic prosperity, and legal compliance.
He said all six principles must be followed so that visitors to the licensed camping site will feel safe, adding that it includes having camping sites at least 10m away from waterfall areas.
He said the town and country planning department took four months to complete the GPP through a series of engagements and expert input sharing sessions with agencies including the natural resources, environment and climate change ministry, the tourism, arts and culture ministry, the works ministry, local authorities, and 150 campsite operators from all over the country.
Nga said there are a number of items about GPP that need to be streamlined by the local government development ministry, including the need for assessment before a campsite begins operation, as well as an environmental impact assessment (EIA).
“There must also be strict regulation and management of campsites, with a scope of inspection and maintenance and grading requirements for tourist accommodation which includes glamping campsites,” he said.
The landslide that occurred at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite in Batang Kali at 2.30am on Dec 16 last year killed 31 campers. Sixty-one others survived.
Security personnel spent nine days in a search-and-rescue operation for victims buried in the landslide.
It was the second deadliest incident after the collapse of the Highland Towers condominium block in Ulu Kelang, Selangor, in 1992 which claimed 48 lives.