River reserves, floodplains should be placed under Section 62 of the Land Code – Zaini Ujang

River reserves, floodplains should be placed under Section 62 of the Land Code – Zaini Ujang

KUALA LUMPUR: River reserve land, floodplain should be placed under Section 62 of the National Land Code so that it is protected from improper development.

According to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and Water (KASA) Datuk Seri Zaini Ujang, currently many of the lands are under Section 13 of the code which makes it transferable.

He said, originally, the lands involved in particular had been dedicated and determined to allow floods so that excess water would not flow and overflow to strategic places in terms of property value and threaten the safety of the surrounding residents.

“Most of our river basins, although in terms of planning, there are floodplains, but the reality is that this did not happen.

“What happened was only to the river reserve land based on Section 62 of the National Land Code.”

Zaini explained that there are two parties that can gazette reserve land, namely the state government and the Federal Land Commissioner and it is a costly job.

“If the Federal Land Commissioner wants to reserve the land, they have to make a fine survey and have to take the land, have to buy the land from the state government or the owner of the land.

“Then it can be reserved and this takes a very big cost, and I think the issue is that part of the land may not want to be sold even though it has been identified as a river reserve.”

Therefore, he said, those in power over the land either at the state government or the relevant Federal government, for example in the Federal Territory, should place the lands under Section 62 of the National Land Code and be placed under the Secretary of State or under the administration of the House. Cities and the like.

However, Zaini said, usually the Federal Land Commissioner will usually only use his power to make a land a reserve land if there is a development plan such as the Flood Mitigation Plan (RTB) or the Integrated River Basin Plan.

“As long as the project is not approved, this (land acquisition) will not happen.”

However, it is understood that this big issue has been brought to several committees chaired by the Prime Minister as well as other committees chaired by the Secretary General of the relevant ministries.

-Israr Khalid

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