published: feb 24, 2021
Land clearance begins for a 25Ha Agri-Food Innovation Park (Afip) park project. In this phase, three plots of land are to be cleared. This clearance was approved.
NParks asks for a biodiversity study of the area, after a resubmitted plan by consultant CPG corporation shows a new drain that affects a nearby river, Sungei Pang Sua. This study would inform further land clearance.
Here's where things become grey.
Four plots of land, around 2.8ha, are cleared. It's unclear if this was authorised.
Now, the resubmitted plan receives approval for tree felling, subject to conditions of the biodiversity study - which was not yet conducted.
Then, CPG corporation, on Nov 3, asks for permission to clear four more plots of land. NParks approves only partial clearance of one plot. But by the next month, two plots, around 2.1ha, are cleared.
Some four months after the biodiversity study is commissioned, a consultant is engaged by JTC to conduct it. The study is expected to be completed in April this year. Meanwhile, land is still being cleared.
Contractor Huationg clears further plots of land amounting to 4.5ha, larger than the size of the Padang. These were not approved for clearance.
JTC discovers the further clearing and immediately suspends all work. About 13ha of vegetated land remains. JTC begins internal investigations and on Jan 15, issues a stern warning to Huationg.
JTC releases a media statement acknowledging the "erroneous" clearing, saying the biodiversity study should have been completed before works began. The contractor also apologises. Investigations conducted by JTC and NParks remain underway.
PRODUCED BY: JO-ANN QUAH