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.

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