Tanjung Redeb, East Kalimantan (ANTARA News) -The Association of Muhammadiyah Students (IMM) in Berau opposes plan of PT Berau Coal (BC) to expand coal mining operation in the Prapatan area.

The country`s fifth largest coal producer is embarking on a plan to increase its production capacity from 2 million tons to 5 million tons a year.

IMM said it has studied the plan of BC , adding according to the plan, BC would expand operation to Binungan in the sub-district of Sambaliung, but land clearing by the company has gone as far as the sub-district of Tanjung Redeb.

"As part of the community in the Tanjung Redeb area,IMM opposes the plan," IMM secretary Andi Amirullah said here on Saturday.

The opposition is in the interest of local people, Andi said, adding IMM is not the first to oppose BC`s plan to expand operation to area of Tanjung Redeb.

Earlier, around two years earlier, the Alliance of Bujannga Bersatu Community (AMBUR) already opposed the plan.

Bujangga is the closest area to Prapatan to which BC planned expansion to increase its coal production.

"We plan to visit the regent to emphasize our opposition to the plan of BC," Andi said.

IMM said it suspected collusion between BC and the Berau Environmental Body (BLH), which allowed the expansion of coal mining operation to Prapatan.

Earlier this month, BLH explained about the expansion plan at a meeting at Bumi Segah hotel covering area as far as Andal Prapatan, but reporter was allowed to cover the meeting.

"The fact that reporters were not allowed to cover the meeting was strange . The people including IMM have the rights to know about the expansion plan before it is implemented," Andi said.

The agenda of the meeting is socialization of the plan, therefore, it should be open to the public, he added.

Andi said the meeting had been organized by BLH but those keeping guard at the door were Berau Coal security people.

"This indicated collusion between BLH and Berau Coal," he said.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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