Selangor government to seize land where farmers carry out open burning

KLANG (Bernama) – The Selangor government will confiscate land in the state where open burning by farmers persists.

Selangor Chief Minister Amirudin Shari said such stern action was required as farmers, especially in the Johan Setia area were still carrying out open burning despite the state government having issued an order for the practice to stop.

“Open burning for carrying out agricultural activities has, to some extent, worsened the haze situation hitting the country now.

“However, we will ensure that confiscation (of such land) is done according to the set procedure and process as it’s not easy to seize these plots of land as some are leased out or encroached upon for growing vegetables,” he told reporters after attending the Yayasan Selangor Debating and Elocution Competition XI yesterday.

Amirudin said so far, no errant farmers had been arrested as they carried out open burning at night or early morning.

“When we went to such locations, the land owners were not there and we didn’t know their whereabouts. But we had to put out the fire before looking for those who committed the open burning,” he added.

According to the Department of Environment website, as of 2pm yesterday, the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings in Johan Setia was 204, Klang (150) and Banting (155) respectively.

API readings of zero to 50 indicate the air is good, 51-100 (moderate), 101-200 (unhealthy), 201-300 (very unhealthy), and 301 and above (hazardous).

Selangor Chief Minister Amirudin Shari. PHOTO: BERNAMA