POOR DRAINAGE HAUNTS PE­NANG RES­I­DENTS

Res­i­dents in Jalan P. Ram­lee hope for so­lu­tion to flood­ing is­sue

New Straits Times - - News -

MO­HAMED BASYIR GE­ORGE TOWN news@nst.com.my

FOR vis­i­tors, Jalan P. Ram­lee here is known as the birth­place of the late leg­endary mu­si­cian, ac­tor and pro­ducer Tan Sri P. Ram­lee.

But for res­i­dents it is a night­mare when­ever it rains heav­ily, as it might re­sult in flood­ing.

Jalan P. Ram­lee is con­sid­ered one of the most flood-prone ar­eas in the state. Res­i­dents en­dure a flood at least once a year.

The last time they were af­fected was on Nov 7, the first day of the Si­jil Pe­la­jaran Malaysia ex­am­i­na­tions. There was also a mas­sive flood on Oct 30, the sec­ond day of Deep­avali.

A down­pour trig­gered a flash flood on Tues­day as rain­wa­ter could not flow smoothly through the drain. For­tu­nately, the wa­ters were just an­kle-deep.

That in­ci­dent, how­ever, gave res­i­dents the jit­ters.

Ros­miza, a res­i­dent, told the New Straits Times that she moved her car to Ta­man Free School, about 300m away from her house, to pre­vent it from be­ing sub­merged.

“We have seen our fair share of flood­ing in the past 15 years, and there seems to be no per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to our woes.”

On Tues­day, a down­pour in the north­east side of Pe­nang is­land wreaked havoc and trig­gered flash floods in low-ly­ing ar­eas, with a wa­ter­spout re­ported at sea. The heavy rain started at 5.54pm and water in some ar­eas rose up to an­kle level.

Res­i­dents in Jalan Sun­gai Pi­nang were caught off guard when the rain caused the drain to over­flow.

In Novem­ber, Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Wan Ju­naidi Tuanku Jaa­far an­nounced in Dewan Rakyat that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had ap­proved a RM150 mil­lion al­lo­ca­tion for a Sun­gai Pi­nang basin flood mit­i­ga­tion project.

The news was mu­sic to the ears of those liv­ing in Jalan P. Ram­lee as it would solve their flood­ing woes.

Mean­while, state Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Flood Mit­i­ga­tion and Traf­fic Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee chair­man Chow Kon Yeow told the NST that the Ir­ri­ga­tion and Drainage De­part­ment di­rec­tor was at­tend­ing a meet­ing in Putrajaya to dis­cuss the project.

“The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to ap­point a con­trac­tor for the de­sign and build ten­der for the project.

“The con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin by the fourth quar­ter of this year.”

PIC BY SHAHNAZ FAZLIE SHAHRIZAL

A drain at Jalan P. Ram­lee in Ge­orge Town yes­ter­day. Tues­day’s down­pour trig­gered a flash flood as rain­wa­ter could not flow quickly through the drain.

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