Muzium Gopeng ad hoc management committee secretary Phang See Kong said the residents want to appeal to Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim to retain the last 1.6km stretch of the pipeline, part of which was erected above the Gopeng-Kampar trunk road.
“For years, visitors to Gopeng have used the pipeline as a landmark for the town.
“The pipeline is also a reminder of the past glory of Gopeng as a major tin mining town in the Kinta Valley. We should be proud to have it as an icon for it reminds the world that hydraulic tin mining was first practised in Gopeng,” Phang said in an interview.
According to The Gopeng Consolidated Tin Mines written by A.G. Glenister, it was the Wickett-Osborne and Chappel Group which built the Kampar Water Supply pipeline in 1911.
Measuring 1.1m in diameter, the pipeline was completed four years later.
A construction company, Gopeng Bhd, which owns the 14.5km pipeline running from the Ulu Geroh water catchment area to Gopeng town, started taking apart the pipeline in 2007, apparently for safety reasons.
A spokesman for Gopeng Bhd had said that people had been stealing the metal structural parts supporting the pipeline, which posed a danger to the public as it could just fall on them.
However, the spokesman said the company planned to preserve certain sections of the pipeline as “monuments of history” near homestay locations.
Phang said his committee would also seek the assistance of state Health, Local Government, Consumer, Environment, Transport and Non-Islamic Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Mah Hang Soon and state Industry, Investment, Entrepreneur Development, Information Communication Technology, Tourism and Women’s Affairs chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman to help preserve the last stretch of the pipeline.
It is learnt that the pipeline has been sold by Gopeng Bhd to a second contractor, Global Terbilang Sdn Bhd.
Global Terbilang executive director Raja Amir Firdaus said the Public Works Department had given the green light for the pipeline across the trunk road to be dismantled as it was a danger to heavy vehicles.
Raja Amir, however, said he was prepared to discuss the issue with the residents.
Source : STAR
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