Tuesday June 12, 2007
PM: Speed up mitigation work
KUALA LUMPUR: All flood mitigation projects should be speeded up to prevent the federal capital from being hit by floods, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
“I want all projects such as the deepening of rivers and construction of retention ponds to be completed ahead of schedule.
“You must hurry up with these efforts,” he said at Kuala Lumpur City Hall yesterday during a briefing on the flood which paralysed Kuala Lumpur for at least three hours on Sunday night.
Three hours of rain caused many parts to be under water.
The floods also caused traffic to come to a standstill throughout the city.
Two people were injured when they were pinned under a fallen tree at Dataran Merdeka after the rain.
Abdullah said the main project which should be quickly completed was the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) project and the flood mitigation projects for Sungai Klang, Sungai Gombak, Sungai Batu and Sungai Kerayong.
He said everyone should mobilise more resources to enable this to happen.
“It seems that the floods this time covered more areas. How long must we face this?” he said.
He said personnel involved in emergency programmes for floods should also be ready at all times.
This was because floods were now non-seasonal.
Abdullah said the authorities should also be prepared to clear rubbish which caused rivers and drains to clog up, calling them “the human factors” which caused flooding.
Deputy Federal Territory Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop, who was one of those who gave the briefing, told reporters later yesterday that a special task force would be formed to look into details of the flood mitigation projects and ensure that they were completed earlier than scheduled.
“We understand the frustrations of the people.
“We will work hard to prevent floods from happening,” he added.
He said between 4.30pm and 9pm on Sunday, 72mm of rain fell in the city. The average rainfall for the city for June is about 130mm.
Abu Seman said about 30 areas here were flooded on Sunday night but no one was evacuated.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the public had a role to play in preventing floods by not throwing rubbish into rivers.
“These are the signs that the environment is not being looked after,” he said after visiting the Royal Malaysian Navy’s new Sepangar Bay base in Sabah.