RM150 million to help prevent floods
> Federal funds finally allocated for phase three of Sungai Pinang project
GEORGE TOWN: Phase three of the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Project will finally proceed following an allocation of RM150 million from the federal government.
Penang Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman (pix) said the allocation was under the second rolling plan of the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) and the project was split into two components.
He said the first component will see RM25 million being spent on deepening and beautifying the 3.2km-long river as well as 10 other rivers and tributaries which feed into Sungai Pinang.
The remaining RM125 million will be used to strengthen and repair the river banks as part of flood mitigation measures. He said works are expected to be completed by 2020 and hoped the project would help address the problem of flash floods in the area.
“This RM150 million is not the end, we will monitor the situation and more money will be allocated if the need arises,” he told a press conference yesterday.
The project had been delayed for almost 20 years after the first phase was completed in 1998 at a cost of RM6.45 million while the second phase to relocate 223 residents at the river bank was completed this year at a cost of RM4 million.
The Pakatan state government has continuously requested the federal government to release funds for the project as the areas surrounding the river have been flood-prone for many years.
Since Deepavali those areas have been hit by flash floods four times following heavy rain. The latest incident on Monday morning saw students staying there being ferried to schools on boats to sit for their SPM examination.
In an earlier press conference, Penang Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh urged the federal government to set up a fund to compensate those who suffered losses from the floods.