Governor gives ultimatum to errant plantation, timber estate companies

I will take firm measures against the plantation and timber estate companies that still let their concession areas catch fire by sealing or freezing the concession areas for five years

Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) – West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji has forewarned to seal plantation or timber estate companies found to have deliberately set fire to or allowed fire to rage across their concession areas.

“I will take firm measures against plantation and timber estate companies that continue to allow their concession areas to catch fire by sealing or freezing these areas for five years,” Sutarmidji remarked here on Wednesday.

The governor also threatened to revoke the permits of plantation and timber estate companies if they were caught setting fire to or allowing fire to rage across their concession areas.

“I do not believe in someone who said the local people will grow plants on the burnt land since the scorched area has reached more than 100 hectares. It is not easy to put out the land fire, as we need four water-bombing helicopters to conduct operations, such as in Tumbang Titi, Ketapang District,” he stated.

He further issued a warning to plantation and timber estate companies against engaging in land and forest fire activities since the local administration is serious about taking firm measures.

“A total of 10 companies are currently being sealed, and this number may increase. If need be, we will revoke their permits. I have asked the Ketapang district head to take the issue of land fire seriously, as Ketapang has the largest number of hotspots, including those in Sintang and Sanggau,” he stated.

Sutarmidji believed that the West Kalimantan Provincial Police chief and commander of the Tanjungpura Regional Military Command XII as well as their ranks and files have made all-out efforts to fight land and forest fires in the province.

Source: ANTARA News