GEORGE TOWN: Illegal land development works have been identified at 108 lots in Penang, said State Housing, Town and Country Planning and Local Government Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo today.
He said that based on monitoring conducted the illegal activities were found to be carried out at 44 lots under the Penang City Council (PCC) and 64 lots under the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (SPMC).
“As of March 31, PCC has identified 11 lots in the North East district and 33 lots in the South West district while under the SPMC, 27 lots were in North Seberang Prai, 33 in Central Seberang Prai and four in South Seberang Prai,“ he said.
He said this when answering to an oral question from Lee Khai Loon (PH-Machang Bubuk) at the question and answer session at the State Assembly here.
Lee had asked about land development works which had been conducted without approval in Penang, action and effort taken by the state government to overcome the problem.
Commenting on the action taken over the issue, Jagdeep, who is also Datuk Keramat State Assemblyman, said the state government had increased the number of personnel involved in monitoring the illegal land development works especially in hilly areas.
He said the state government had also increased the monitoring period daily and coordinated integrated action with all the related agencies including the Penang District and Land Office and the Penang Survey and Mapping Department.
“We also boost monitoring by using drones in areas which cannot be monitored from the road levels other than using closed circuit television. The state government also issued notices for work stoppages and on returning the land to their original states,“ he said.
In addition, the state government also conducted operations to seize machineries and to take court actions with a maximum fine of RM500,000.
In the meantime, Jagdeep said PCC was in the final stage of formulating a Land Works By-law 2018 by taking into account current issues and public interests to ensure it encompassed the aspect of imposing fines and compounds for conducting land works without approval.
“For SPMC, the existing laws, namely, the Town And Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172) and the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133) are adequate for firm steps or actions on errant land owners.
“However, to be more effective, the state government will propose to the federal government to provide a heavier penalty against those who commits the offence,“ he said. — Bernama