Indonesia — The Indonesian government has taken legal action against four companies for alleged burning forest fire and ordered them to stop operation, official said here on Tuesday.
Three firms’ operational permits have been suspended and another company’s license has been revoked, Secretary General of Environment and Forestry Ministry Bambang Hendroyono disclosed.
“We give strong punishment in the form of freezing (and revoking) of licenses with the stoppage of firms’ operation,” he said.
“The firms must return their plantation area to the state…and state has been committed to preserve environment,” Hendroyono added.
Forest fire from Indonesia has triggered haze enveloping Singapore and Malaysia, disturbing flights and causing health problems.
The thick haze has caused 75,196 people suffering from respiratory, according to the national disaster management agency. Health ministry has revealed that some of the affected people get pneumonia.
According to the police report, as many as 28 companies and 145 people have been declared suspects in the fire in Sumatra and Borneo islands, spokesman of the disaster agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Monday.
Indonesia has been battered by such forest fires since the 1990s, as the ensuing haze enveloped neighboring ASEAN countries and caused losses of billions of U.S. dollars.