Federal govt approves RM200m for Jernih Dam project in Melaka


THE federal government has approved an allocation of about RM200 million, namely, an increase of RM36 million, for the construction of the Jernih Dam in Melaka to solve the state’s water supply problem.

Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali (picture; centre) said the previous Ministry of Economic Affairs had approved the allocation in a letter dated Feb 14.

The Jernih Dam project was put off in 2018 but had been rejuvenated to avoid a water calamity. Melaka required the additional fund, apart from an initial amount which had been earlier approved by the federal government for the project, due to hike in costs.

“The approved amount includes the scopes for the constructions of the structure of the dam, control tower, spillway and Tenaga Nasional Bhd Station, water catchment pond and access road.

“We hope that the construction of the dam which has a capacity of 13,000 million litres of water will support the need of the population growth until 2030,” he told a press conference after reviewing the water situation at the Durian Tunggal Dam, Alor Gajah, Melaka yesterday.

Earlier, he and Syarikat Air Melaka Bhd acting CEO Zainal Abidin Ab Rahman visited Jus Dam in Jasin.

Sulaiman said the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources’ Water Supply Division was expected to issue the tender for the Jernih Dam project by next month. The project was expected to be completed in 30 months.

To date, he said the Durian Tunggal Dam only had 16.1% (4,970 million litres), Jus Dam had 24.% (10,475 million litres) and the Asahan Dam had 68.9% (480 million litres) of water left.

Previously, the water supply rationing in Melaka was implemented for the first two weeks starting from Jan 29, involving 550,673 people, namely, 62.8% of the population and continued for the second phase on Feb 10 involving hospitals, industrial areas and tourism centres.

Water rationing continued in the third phase starting on Tuesday as water levels at the three main dams had yet to record improvements to ensure adequate water supply to withstand the hot dry weather.

Melaka, currently, has three dams, Durian Tunggal Dam, Jus and Asahan Dams.