Mon, 24 Feb 2003

Cinangka residents complain of pollution

BOGOR: Cinangka residents in the Ciampea subdistrict of Bogor regency have submitted a complaint to the local police about water and air pollution caused by home industries recycling used car batteries.

Maesaroh, 50, one of the residents said that the industries recklessly dump the battery water and then burn the whole battery to remove the plastic molding and remove the battery cells inside for recycling.

"They've been doing this for a long time. Almost every night we cannot sleep because the smoke caused by the burning plastic causes us to choke," she said. She added children in particular have developed respiratory ailments.

The residents' complaint was confirmed by Ciampea subdistrict head, Rudi Gunawan, who said that the burning of batteries was done at night, usually after midnight, to avoid being seen.

"Local residents have repeatedly complained about the pollution but the industries have never positively responded. And now they have reported it to the police," he said.

The police and the environmental agency of Bogor regency are studying the case. "If it is proven that the battery burning has caused the pollution we'll take strong action," he said, adding that the police were also questioning some 50 witnesses in the subdistrict.

Bogor Police Precinct deputy chief, Comr. Tomex Korniawan, said last Saturday that they had received residents' reports about the pollution case.--JP