RM750m needed for Penang’s flood problems

The funding will bene t 70% of the flood area from 3 sq m to 0.9 sq m and save 150,000 residents


THE Penang river basin needs RM750 million to address its flood problems.

Environment and Water (KASA) Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Mansor Othman said under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the state government has approved RM150 million in funding for the flood mitigation project (PTB) Package 1, while the remaining RM600 million will be applied in the next rolling plan.

Additionally, the federal government has approved RM259.5 million allocation for PTB in Penang involving seven projects at Lembangan Sungai Pinang, Sungai Kechil, Pondok Upeh, Teluk Kumbar, Teluk Bahang, Dua Besar and Taman Siakap.

“PBT in the Penang river will benefit 70% of the flood area from three sq m to 0.9 sq m and save 150,000 residents, as well as saving RM370 million in losses per year,” he said in a response to Senator Lim Hui Ying in Dewan Negara yesterday.

For PBT in the Perai industrial area, Mansor said it is under the jurisdiction of the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP).

However, he noted that MBSP has applied for allocation through the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority under the Northern Corridor Economic Region via the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

“The government through the Department of Irrigation and Drainage pays special attention to the issue of cleaning and optimising drainage capacity from the river as a short-term measure through a river conservation programme,” he added.

He said the scope of work includes river dredging and clearing, construction of riverbank erosion structures, removing garbage and solid waste, and upgrading and maintaining assets of flood control structures.

Meanwhile, KASA will consider expanding the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (Smart Tunnel) to reduce future risks of flash floods.

Mansor agreed with Senator Datuk Jefridin Atan that Smart Tunnel has proven effective in diverting gallons of rainwater from last weekend’s massive flooding in the city centre.

“I agree with the honourable’s (Jefridin) view on water diversion as we did via the Smart Tunnel in Kuala Lumpur, which has been a huge help in dealing with flooding in urban areas.

“The expansion of the Smart Tunnel may be considered,” Mansor said.

Following heavy rains in Klang Valley since last Friday, Smart Tunnel had successfully diverted five million cu m of excess water which prevented massive flooding at the city centre.