KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 (Bernama) -- Not much can be done to find a long-term solution to the haze problem as Indonesia refuses to bring up the matter to the Asean Secretariat, Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said today.
He said Indonesia wanted to resolve the problem only with Malaysia and Singapore.
"Indonesia will also only discuss the haze issue in its parliament which is scheduled to sit in December or early next year," he told reporters after opening a seminar organised by the Survey and Mapping Department, here today.
Penang was hit by haze yesterday with an unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) reading registered in Seberang Jaya 2, at 103 at 5pm.
Palanivel said the Malaysian government had offered to loan its cloud seeding aircraft to Indonesia as a short-term solution to the problem, but Indonesia could only decide on the matter after its parliamentary sitting.
About 300 people attended the seminar which was to discuss the technology to be brought into the country for the purpose of carrying out underground utility mapping.
Palanivel said that implementation of development projects involving digging works caused damage to undergound pipes and other utilities, amounting to millions of ringgit.
To address the problem, he said the Survey and Mapping Department had decided to collect data from all quarters, including the private sector, local government authorities, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Syabas and Telekom Malaysia, to produce an undergound map.
The first phase was carried out in the Klang Valley and Putrajaya, before expanding it to Selangor and the whole country, he added.
He said the department had spent RM50 million since 2007 for the purpose.