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JKR Closes Batang Kali – Genting Road, Public Told Not To Fly Drones Over Landslide Area

JKR Closes Batang Kali – Genting Road, Public Told Not To Fly Drones Over Landslide Area

Road users can opt for Jalan Ulu Yam – Batu Caves as an alternative.

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The Public Works Department (JKR) announced that the Jalan Batang Kali – Genting route has been closed on the orders of the Hulu Selangor District Police Headquarters.

The closure was made due to a landslide near the location and to facilitate rescue work for the victims.

READ MORE: 8 Remains Recovered, 60 Rescued So Far In Batang Kali Landslide

JKR suggested an alternative route for affected road users.

From Batang Kali, road users can take the Jalan Ulu Yam – Batu Caves route to Gombak and head to the Karak Highway to reach Genting.

In the meantime, JKR is monitoring the scene and waiting for further instructions from the police.

Freeze On Eco-Tourism Activities

Meanwhile, all campsites and water recreation areas around Batang Kali are ordered to close immediately until further notice, according to the Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution.

Saifuddin said he had informed the Head of the Hulu Selangor Regional Police (KPD), Superintendent Suffian Abdullah, to stop all camping activities.

We have asked the KPD to immediately issue new directives for all camp site owners not to accept camp visitors until they are notified further.

Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution on the

Ecotourism & Conservation Society Malaysia (Ecomy) chief executive officer Andrew Sebastian said caution has to be taken to ensure the safety of the public and users, especially during monsoon season.

He said the monsoon season is very pronounced in Malaysia with rains and floods.

The situation is made worse by rampant land clearing in the highlands, which has resulted in a tremendous amount of soil erosion.

So, in that sense, although I empathize that resort operators who want to take advantage of the holiday season, the government must act to stop and freeze all forms of nature-based tourism, especially for the month of December and January.

Environmentalist and eco-tourism advocate Sebastian Andrew to TRP on the need to freeze eco-tourism activities in the highlands, where the terrain is steep.
 Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) working at site of the landslide disaster in Jalan Genting, Batang Kali. (Pix: BH)

No Fly Zone

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) issued a notice saying that no drones are allowed at the disaster site.

The move is presumably a gentle reminder to the public and media practitioners gathering at Gohtong Jaya as they are not allowed to enter the area.

The landslide is about 4 to 5 km from the Gohtong Jaya town centre, reachable to consumer drones, especially if operated using FCC mod.

The FCC mod, prohibited in some countries, allows the drone to bypass restrictions and turn its radios to full power. 

CAAM said the prohibition is to avoid any untoward incident, especially involving the safety and security of the public and rescue teams conducting search and rescue (SAR) operations at the scene of the incident. 

The use of drones without approval is also feared to interfere with drone monitoring activities by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) and SAR operations from the air using helicopters.

All drone activities in the country are subject to Section 4 of the Civil Aviation Act 1969 (Act 3); Regulation 98, Regulation 140-144, Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations (MCAR 2016) and Civil Aviation Directives (CADs).

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