SIA re­port a must for all devel­op­ment

Noh: Projects’ im­pact will be as­sessed

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

PUTRAJAYA: All devel­op­ment projects must have a so­cial im­pact as­sess­ment (SIA) re­port be­fore they can be con­sid­ered.

This is manda­tory fol­low­ing the gazetting of the Town and Coun­try Plan­ning (Amend­ment) Act 2017 on Jan 16. Par­lia­ment had passed the amend­ment last Oc­to­ber.

Ur­ban Well­be­ing, Hous­ing and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Tan Sri Noh Omar, who an­nounced this yes­ter­day, said an eval­u­a­tion alone would not be enough.

“We want a de­tailed re­port to be sub­mit­ted for ex­perts to eval­u­ate how devel­op­ment will af­fect peo­ple in the sur­round­ing area or whose land, homes and liveli­hood are dis­rupted by it,” he told re­porters af­ter his min­istry’s monthly as­sem­bly here.

The SIA’s rec­om­men­da­tions are aimed at re­duc­ing po­ten­tial neg­a­tive im­pact through changes in the de­sign or op­er­a­tions of the projects and also to de­ter­mine com­pen­sa­tion is­sues.

Projects need­ing a de­tailed SIA re­port, as stated un­der Sec­tion 22 2(A) of the Town and Coun­try Plan­ning Act, in­clude the devel­op­ment of new town­ships for pop­u­la­tions ex­ceed­ing 10,000 or ar­eas cov­er­ing over 100ha.

These in­clude devel­op­ment projects that af­fect hill­tops or hill­slopes. SIA re­ports are to be pre­pared by con­sul­tants ac­cred­ited with the Town Plan­ning Board.

Noh said that in the past, those who wanted to re­claim land would only pro­vide a re­port on how this would af­fect the en­vi­ron­ment “with­out much study”.

“Now, project de­vel­op­ers must pro­vide us with in­for­ma­tion on how the recla­ma­tion will im­pact fish­er­men in terms of their homes and liveli­hood, and how it will af­fect their catch.

“This is the lat­est ef­fort by the Gov­ern­ment to en­sure all is­sues caused by devel­op­ment are iden­ti­fied with so­lu­tions in hand,” he added.

Noh also said new peo­ple’s hous­ing projects (PPR) and low-cost flats would have larger lifts to ac­com­mo­date stretch­ers.

“We are ask­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to en­sure that low-cost houses built in their ar­eas have these stretcher lifts,’’ he added.

Noh also an­nounced the re­brand­ing of the Town and Coun­try Plan­ning De­part­ment to be known as PLANMalaysia with the tagline “Plan­ning beyond Con­ven­tional”.

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