Taman Suria residents fear ammonia threat

 

Nearly a thousand residents from Taman Suria in Bestari Jaya are now living in constant fear as the pollution levels from a nearby gloves factory increase day-by-day and has begun affecting their daily lives.

Hartalega Sdn Bhd, a gloves manufacturing company, has located its major factory only 22 meters away from he entrance of Taman Suria, and the residents now have to bear with heavy smoke and dust.

“This company has been issued with a stop work order before,” said vice-chairman of the residents’ association, P Jagan.

Jagan was referring to a report in The Star last December, which quoted Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department T. Murugiah as saying that the factory, has been ordered to close down.

“But after that Hartalega representatives have met with Khalid Ibrahim (Selangor Menteri Besar) and the latter had told them they can resume operations,” said Jagan.

“Murugiah’s order was exactly what we wanted.”

It is not only the threat of dust that is unsettling the residences, but there are genuine fears that the chemicals from the factory, mainly ammonia, will pose great danger to their health.

“The environmental department keeps saying that they are managing to contain the gas emanation, but that is not the problem. The distance is the problem. The factory is too close,” said resident Lian Siew Kim.

One of the residents revealed that his son has been complaining about having an itchy skin, while another resident’s son had to be operated after both of his eye corneas were affected.

“What if one day the ammonia tank explodes?” asked another resident K Vijayaletchumi.

“We have written numerous times to the environmental department, and all they would reply is that the factory is still safe to be around.”

“Even the council (Kuala Selangor District Council) officers do nothing. They come here under the name of inspection and always tell us that they see nothing wrong.”