IPOH: Kinta Valley Watch, the Limestone hill conservation organisation, has called on the government to consider underground mining to protect the Perak hills.
Ching Boon Tat, its spokesman, said that the technology and means for underground mining are readily available and that some Perak quarry operators are already doing so.
Ching said a win-win compromise between a sustainable environment and the economy needs to be in place.
“Some people believe that limestone hills in Kinta Valley are necessary to be destroyed to spur the economy and keep new houses affordable,” he said.
But is it really appropriate for all the limestone mountains in Kinta Valley to be wiped out?
“Scientific researches show that about 20% of limestone are on the ground and about 80% limestone are underground”. He said, adding that underground mining activities will always appears in Tasek, Ipoh, and Malim Nawar, Kampar.
The amount of limestone discovered underground could last for centuries, Ching said.
“The consistency of the limestone is also fine, according to some studies.
“I do believe that it is a matter of mindset and approach”. He said. Moreover, he is adding that limestone hills are a heritage that the state should preserve and protect.
There have been many accidents involving limestone hills in the last several months.
After that, in October, in a limestone cave in Gopeng, Perak, Malaysian scientists discovered a fossilised tooth of a Stegodon. It is an extinct elephant that was thought to be between 30,000 and 80,000 years old.
In November, after a landslide, they found that two people are burying under limestone rocks at a resort in Tambun.
In addition, Ching said he would continue to call for the protection of the limestone hills with his party.
“If we don’t speak up, the people will blow up more hills in the future.” He added.
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