POOR DRAINAGE HAUNTS PENANG RESIDENTS
Residents in Jalan P. Ramlee hope for solution to flooding issue
MOHAMED BASYIR GEORGE TOWN firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
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.