Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Access woes to PD beaches

HOLIDAYMAKERS to the scenic beaches of Port Dickson often congregate at popular picnic spots like Pantai Teluk Kemang, Pantai Saujana and Blue Lagoon.

The three are among the 16 beaches in Port Dickson, from KM3 to KM21, but the rest remain obscure to visitors because there is no direct access – nor is there any signboard leading there.

There is no access because the owners of private bungalows and hotels facing the seafront have fenced up all access routes. They seem to treat the beaches as private property though the laws recognise beaches as public property.

This is also the reason the three beaches are over-patronised, to the extent that they are congested during peak season and littered with rubbish.

It is only wise that the local authorities realise the true potential of Port Dickson's coastline instead of focusing only on the three popular beaches.

A check conducted by Bernama at Pantai Batu Sebelas revealed that private bungalows had blocked the access route leading to the beach.

Narrowed beach: All along Pantai Batu Lima, the beach is fenced up by owners of private properties, making it difficult for beach lovers to walk by the beach.
The same situation could be seen at Pantai Batu Sepuluh and a part of Pantai Batu Sembilan but this time, a five-star hotel and a military camp stand in the way.

Pantai Batu Tujuh, Batu Enam, Batu Lima and Batu Tiga fare no better and the beachfront in certain areas is the exclusive domain of a four-star and a five-star hotel and members of the public must cut through the hotel compound to reach the beach.

People who happen to spot the hidden beaches say they are surprised that Port Dickson has many more fine sandy beaches.

Norzaini Amiruddin, 24, from Ampang, regretted that the authorities could not provide access to the beaches.

“I got to know of Pantai Batu Sembilan beach by chance while putting up at a nearby hotel. Previously, I was not aware that there is a tranquil beach here,” she said.

Locals at Pantai Batu 11 like Syed Huzair Syed Hamzah also feel disappointed. Syed Huzair said villagers formerly had access to the seafront about 1km away from his home.

“Now, all the bungalows have fenced up the area and we no longer have access to the sea to fish,” he said, in the hope that the state government would take note of the matter.

Nasaruddin Abdullah Sani, 43, said he got to know of Pantai Batu Sembilan beach after being informed by his son who was studying at a nearby polytechnic.

“Beaches are public property; they can't close up the access leading to the beaches. What they are doing is like stopping the river's flow downstream,” he said.

Pie Rahim, 47, from Klang, said many were not aware that Port Dickson had a number of fine beaches and hoped the government would do something to provide access to the beaches and stop the rich from monopolising the beaches.

“Mention PD and the first place most would think of is Telok Kemang. Why are the other beaches forgotten?” asked the fireman.

The state government previously had reminded hotels along the beaches that the beaches are not their exclusive zones but it did not include the bungalow owners.

Meanwhile, State Economic Planning Unit director Dr Baharom Jani said the state government had identified strategic locations to open up access to these beaches and would consider reclaiming the sea to avoid trespassing on private land.

“We have already planned to develop the beaches, increase the road signs leading to the beaches and provide access roads, especially as Port Dickson is recognised as the National Resort Beach,” he said.

“There are many other beaches easily accessible to the public and I don't see why we have to disturb the private properties. We have no reason to acquire the land to provide access as this will involve compensation.”

He also pointed out that the state government was developing Pantai Tanjung Gemuk located to the north of Port Dickson.

Source : STAR
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1 comment:

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