YONG PENG - Security around Bekok Dam - a water source for some 50,000 households in Batu Pahat here - will come under the army's jurisdiction once it is gazetted as a protected area, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Dr Wee said the area around the dam would be fenced soon to prevent trespassers and intruders from carrying out illegal farming activities which could cause water pollution.
The fencing work, he said, would prevent illegal activities at the reservoir while waiting for the land to be gazetted by the state government as a protected area.
"Once the land is gazetted, signs will be put up and the security aspect of the area will come under the army's jurisdiction to ensure that there is no encroachment activity," said Dr Wee, who is also Ayer Hitam MP.
Surveyors, he added, had completed the necessary work to measure the land and determine the boundary points.
"They have also identified the entry points normally used by intruders before the fences are put up," he told reporters here yesterday.
The project, he added, would be handled by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).
The Bekok Dam, said Dr Wee, was an issue of much concern among the locals as it was an important water source for households in Batu Pahat.
It was reported that the dam had been encroached on by farmers clearing the land to plant crops, which resulted in the water source being polluted by pesticide.
Both the district and state land offices have since taken action against seven cases of such illegal encroachment in the area.