Volunteers of a gotong-royong programme to build a trail at Sungai Gong in Rawang, Selangor today, stumbled upon clinical waste at the riverbank, suspected to be from a private veterinary clinic nearby.

Department of Environment (DOE) director-general Norlin Jaafar said the waste had not only polluted the river but it could also cause infectious diseases to the local community.

“We suspect a clinic near to the riverbank (is responsible for the waste) and I have directed Selangor DOE to take the evidence to the Chemistry Department for investigation so that action could be taken against the offender,” she told the media during the programme, here, today.

She said the investigation could be carried out under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and Environmental Quality Regulations (Scheduled Wastes) 2005, which carries five years imprisonment and fine not exceeding RM500,000 upon conviction.

Meanwhile Environment and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang said the gotong-royong involved the manual construction of a 1.4 kilometres trail to control river pollution.

“The gotong-royong involved 250 participants at a gazetted river area, thus bringing the community closer to the water source and to monitor the river ecosystem more effectively.