BESUT (The Star): Officials from the Besut Land and Mines office will leave “no stone unturned” in their bid to nail culprits who are fond of extracting stones from Sungai Kemia at Kampung Pak Sik in Hulu Besut, near here.
The directive barring picnickers from removing even a pebble from the river that is part of the Sungai Kemia Recreational Park in Besut was enforced recently.
Besut Land and Mines office administrator Wan Mohamad Wan Ibrahim said the officials are also empowered to take punitive action against those taking any type of stone.
“Stones that are found in abundance in the river are refined and they glow under sunlight and are suitable for landscaping purposes.
“That is the reason for the indiscriminate extraction of these stones,” he said here yesterday.
Wan Mohamad said the eco-system of the river could be affected if the removal of the stones went unchecked.
The move is vital as the site is earmarked as a tourist destination, he said, adding that stones from Sungai Kemia were also sent to Kuala Terengganu to be used as ornaments for gardens.
Wan Mohamad said his office would control the issuance of permits to river sand-dredging firms which were now concentrating their activities in Sungai Besut.
He said the firms have requested for additional permits but his office was not keen on granting alternative sites for sand dredging.