In celebrating the National Environment Day, the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Environmental Management Conference 2019 was held at the KVMRT Training Centre, Sungai Buloh on 5 November 2019.
An annual event that has entered into its third year, the conference had the theme, “Enforcement and Empowering on Detailed Environment Impact Assessment (DEIA) Approval Conditions”, in support of the Government’s initiative in developing a strong sense of love towards the environment.
The conference was attended by relevant parties from Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp), MMC-Gamuda KVMRT Sdn Bhd, Work Package Contractors (WPCs) for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line and their subcontractors.
To kickstart the conference, MRT Corp Centralised Labour Quarters, Health, Environment, Safety and Security Assistant General Manager, Encik Azhar Sofah gave the welcoming remarks, where he reflected on the past MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line Project and the present SSP Line, and expressed happiness over the reduced number of non-conformity report (NCR) and observations recorded in the same audit cycle, from 211 NCR and 174 observations in the SBK Line in audit cycle 11, to 121 NCR and 57 observations for the SSP Line.
The first speaker, Dr G Balamurugan from ERE Consulting Group Sdn Bhd gave a talk on the topic “Stakeholder Engagement in Large Infrastructure Project”, where he shared his experience with regards to stakeholder engagement. He advised to always put oneself in the stakeholders’ shoes in approaching or engaging them, and stressed on the importance of engagement, as it allows the opportunity to inform the stakeholders on the likely impact and mitigate steps that could be taken. He also noted that community engagement is still at a low level in Malaysia, and praised the MRT Project for having an above average standard in engaging stakeholders.
Prof Ir Dr Salman Leong, who was involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the KVMRT Project, came next with the topic “Noise and Vibration for Non-Technical”. Currently attached to the Institute of Noise and Vibration at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, he gave an overview on how noise and sound are measured, and the different factors that influence them such as confined spaces and reflection. He also touched on issues in public engagement when it comes to matters pertaining to sound and noise measurement, where he stressed on the importance of measuring baseline noise before every change in activity to ensure that every argument is based on facts, not emotions.
Shortly after, the Guest of Honour, W.P. Kuala Lumpur Department of Environment Director, Puan Nor Aziah Jaafar arrived for the opening ceremony of the conference, accompanied by MRT Corp Chief Executive Officer Encik Abdul Yazid Kassim and MRT Corp Leadership Team.
Encik Abdul Yazid gave the opening remarks, where he welcomed all guests and participants to the third KVMRT Environmental Management Conference, and stressed that all parties should comply with the approval conditions set by the Department of Environment.
During her speech to officiate the event, Puan Nor Aziah congratulated the organiser for putting together the event, especially on the theme this year as it is an important theme that is subjected to the Environmental Quality (Assigned Activities) (EIA) Order 2015.
She gave a reminder that the Department of Environment had issued 54 approval conditions to be complied by the Developer – that is MRT Corp, in carrying out construction works at project site, including train operations. She also highlighted that best management practices need to be looked into by all WPCs especially during this monsoon season, such as maintenance of waste or silt traps.
One of the activities that was organised leading up to the conference was the Nature Treasure Hunt, held on 13 October 2019 at Forest Research Institute Malaysia, to promote awareness of the flora and fauna. Puan Nor Aziah gave the prizes to the winners where the top five groups won cash prizes. The champion was Guppy, followed by Simba, Tungau, Gajah Duduk and Tenggilling. A token of appreciation was presented to Puan Nor Aziah by Encik Abdul Yazid after the prize-giving ceremony.
The conference continued with the third speaker of the day, Puan Geetha P Kumaran from Europasia Engineering Services Sdn Bhd on the topic “MRT SSP Line Audit Compliance”. She gave an overview on the requirements of audits and quizzed the participants to test their memory. She also gave a reminder on the upcoming four audits taking place for the SSP Line next year. She stressed on the importance of carrying out performance monitoring and to check on the efficiency of the best management practices such as wastage management, and added that it is an example of going beyond compliance, something that all parties should look into in audit cycle 12.
Encik Rosiskada Mohamed from W.P. Kuala Lumpur Department of Environment came next with the topic “Prosecution Procedure and Process”. He gave an explanation on the prosecution process on cases that did not comply with EIA approvals condition, and how they involved court actions. He also gave examples of major cases involving the environment which constitutes a criminal offence.
The final speaker for the day, Puan Noor Fazierah Yaakub from Construction Industry Development Board, gave a presentation on the topic “Sustainable INFRASTAR”. Her talk touched on the need for an increase in awareness of climate change, and stressed on the importance of sustainability, with the key essence being the environment, economy and social aspects. She added that Malaysia shares the United Nation’s sustainability development goals, especially in matters related to improvement in the construction standards, which is also in line with the 11th Malaysia Plan.
All guests and participants went home with valuable information that would benefit the Project, especially in compliance of the DEIA Approvals Condition.