Complete the two packages in KL flood mitigation as soon as possible, 14.1.2007.
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Government to complete the two packages of the Kuala Lumpur flood mitigation scheme as soon as possible and to ensure that the scheme will truly mitigate flooding in the Federal Territory.
Dr Tan responds to the request by motorists, traders and hawkers to overcome the delay in the works of the two packages. Package I is to alleviate flooding from the Klang River with Smart Tunnel. Package II is to channel excess water from Gombak River, Batu River, Jinjang River and Keroh River, Kepong, to the three big lakes in Jinjang North, through underground drains.
Yesterday, the Minister for the Federal Territories Datuk Zulhasnan reassured the city folks that the operation rooms in KL and Labuan are ready to face floods in the territories. We hope that there will not be flooding and that if it were to occur, those who man operation rooms will be efficient.
The Malaysian Department of Irrigation and Drainage (D.I.D.) is implementing two pakages of the flood mitigation in KL. Package I began in 2003, to be completed in december, 2006. It is expected to be ready by June this year. After a delay, Package II started in August, 2005, works to be finished by the beginning of this year. It is expected to be operational by the end of the year.
The delay in the works causes inconvenience to motorists, affecting business. For instance, works in Jinjang along the Kepong road gives rise to traffic jams in the last one and a half years. We wish this part of the project is completed soon.
Some people including the Director-General of D.I.D. Datuk Keizrul maintain that once operational, the two packages may not be able to alleviate flooding. There are other factors such as a network of drains and rivers. The Government and the people must help to ensure that these drains and rivers are not clogged with rubbish.
The cost of the two packages is of concern. The media have quoted the cost of Package I as RM2.1 billion and that of Package II as RM500 million, or is it RM800 million, giving the total of RM2.6 billion, or RM2.9 billion.
The Government must show transparency and accountability. It has to make public the cost of the two packages assessed by an internationally-recognized professional organization. For example, an estimate shows the Smart Tunnel as costing less than RM1 billion. If the concessionaire gets RM1.3 billion, it makes over RM200 million. If it obtains RM2.1 billion, it gains RM1 billion, nearly 100%.
We understand that flood mitigation projects are expensive and that they may not be able to prevent floods. But, this does not mean that we can simply waste public fund.
Tan Seng Giaw