Source: The Star

Four years have passed since the RM1 billion Jelutong landfill rehabilitation and development project was announced, but progress remains elusive. Penang local government, town and country planning committee chairman, H’ng Mooi Lye, stated during the recent state assembly meeting that all necessary approvals are expected only by the third quarter of this year.

The project, helmed by PLB Engineering Bhd, aims to transform the landfill into a mixed development site post-rehabilitation. H’ng explained that the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has been approved, and the Fisheries Impact Assessment (FIA) has received the required comments. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is currently under review by the Environment Department.

Ong Ah Teong (PH-Batu Lancang) raised a query about the project’s progress and whether there were plans for an integrated solid waste management center on the island. H’ng responded that there are no current plans for such a facility. He highlighted the delayed Phase 3 of the Pulau Burung Landfill Site, which was intended to incorporate waste-to-energy and zero-waste technology. This delay is due to ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government regarding the adoption of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) in Penang. The outcome of these negotiations will shape the future of integrated waste management facilities in the state.

Deputy Chief Minister II, Jagdeep Singh Deo, emphasized the need to move beyond traditional landfills. He advocated for exploring advanced technologies for waste disposal, reflecting the state’s shift towards more sustainable waste management practices. Jagdeep Singh, who previously held H’ng’s position, underscored the importance of considering modern alternatives to landfill waste disposal.

In June of the previous year, The Star reported that PLB Engineering Bhd had entered a joint development agreement with the Penang government in 2020 to undertake the Jelutong landfill project. Despite this, a state government source indicated that the project had not progressed beyond the planning stages. The landfill, located on the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and just 3km from the city’s heritage enclave, is considered a prime development opportunity due to its extensive undeveloped land in downtown Penang.

The rehabilitation of the landfill is a massive endeavor, requiring extensive excavation, shore realignment, and land re-engineering. Once completed, it is expected to generate significant economic returns, with estimates suggesting billions of ringgit in gross development value.

The Jelutong landfill has been a repository for construction debris and garden waste since 2002, transitioning from its former role as a sanitary landfill. The anticipated redevelopment holds promise for economic growth and urban rejuvenation, but for now, tangible progress remains on the horizon.

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