Young, dynamic team to revive the Klang River

The SMG master plan is drafted with aims to clean up the Klang river and drive future developments to unlock its economic benefits

by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic credit: theoceancleanup.com

LANDASAN Lumayan Sdn Bhd (LLSB) — the developer commissioned to rejuvenate the Klang River — is expected to carry out the monumental yet daunting task of maintaining the health of the riverway.

They drafted a master plan called the Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) with two key visions for the waterway — to clean it up and drive future developments to unlock its economic benefits.

To date, some 50,000 tonnes of waste have been extracted from the Klang River — thanks to the young and dynamic team of LLSB spearheading the project — combined with the Selangor government’s RM45 million allocation to revive the vitality of the river.

LLSB is a subsidiary of Selangor Mentri Besar Inc (MBI).

The Economic and Corporate Policy Advisor to Selangor Mentri Besar (MB), Dr Mohd Zulkufli Zakaria said the project, which aims to maintain a cleaner river system in Selangor beyond 2031, could be achieved driven by the dedicated employees in LLSB.

“We have a young, strong and dedicated team who works very hard. We need enthusiastic people like them for the company to move forward in this project,” he said in a video uploaded on YouTube in November last year.

The importance of Klang River that stretches over 120 km from Ampang to Port Klang was left unnoticed for decades. The health of the river deteriorated over the years caused by unscrupulous human activities of turning the river into garbage and domestic waste deposit dumping ground.

The waste collected — weighed a staggering 50,000 MT equal to about 2,500 big buses — clogged the river flow that degraded the rich ecosystem along the way.

Since the cleaning work begun in 2016, the waterway’s Water Quality Index has improved from Class 5 (contaminated) to Class 3 which is good and Class 2B in some areas, which is suitable for recreational activities — that include water taxi operations to use the river as a transportation mode to commute from Kuala Lumpur to Klang.

Last October, MB Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari announced that a refreshed ambience of the Klang River will be open for the public in March, following upgrading works of the entire Taman Awam Pangkalan Batu as an interactive destination park and the playground at Taman Rekreasi Mangrove Point.

“The Taman Rekreasi Mangrove Point will be the first mangrove forest in Malaysia to promote a biophilic environment.

“A river taxi system is also being set up, which will initially ply a 15km stretch along the Klang River, thus connecting the two locations,” he said after the launch of SMG to a Better Tomorrow at Shah Alam, Selangor.

Eager for more robust cleaning partnerships, SMG joint forces with The Ocean Cleanup, a non-government engineering environmental organisation based in the Netherlands that develops technology to extract plastic pollution from the oceans.

The Ocean Cleanup approached the state in April last year and agreed to deploy its interceptor into the Klang River in August.

“It will be there for a year, with no cost incurred. This complements the existing log booms which have been installed to further clean up the river, in the rainy seasons that would cause waste to overpass the log boom,” Amirudin added.

The interceptor system that’s powered by solar energy, has low maintenance requirements and can operate semi-autonomously 24 hours a day even in extreme conditions.

SMG’s plan will be rolled out in three phases; Phase 1 runs from 2018 to 2022, Phase 2 between 2022 and 2031, while Phase 3 is set for 2031 and beyond.