Canal to mitigate city’s flood woes

KUCHING: Flood woes in the city are expected to be solved in the next few years with the completion of an 8.7-km canal from Sungai Paroh to Sungai Salak, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah said yesterday.
“We don’t have plans to build a ‘Smart Tunnel’ but we’re going to build a canal to mitigate flood water from Sungai Paroh to Sungai Salak and phase one of the project has started.

“Naim Cendera has started to build the first two kilometres of the canal which cost about RM148 million and the remaining phases will be under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP),” he told reporters after visiting Kampung Semerah Padi here.

Uggah said other localised flood mitigation and drainage upgrading projects included Sungai Padungan which cost about RM20 million, Sungai Semerah Padi and Sungai Midin (RM17.5 million), Matang Batu 4 (RM17 million), Sungai Bedil (RM7 million), Kampung Semerah Padi and Samariang Batu drainage upgrading (RM1 million), repair works along Sungai Lagim and Sungai Bintangor (RM500,000).

He said the federal-funded projects should get off the ground soon, adding that the tender for project at Sungai Padungan had been closed and it would be completed in 18 months.

“We want to implement these projects as soon as possible,” he said.

The minister said the ministry would be launching a programme called ‘Rakan Alam Sekitar’ (Friends of Environment) in June for every parliamentary constituency as a means to better engage the whole community to be involved in taking care of the environment they lived in.

He said MPs would be appointed as the chairmen for the working committee which comprised assemblymen and assemblywomen in the parliamentary constituencies, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and the public.

“We want to pull all resources together in taking care of the environment but the MPs will be the prime movers of the programme and committee,” he said.

To a question, Uggah said the water quality of Sungai Sarawak was currently Class III or unsatisfactory.

“We’ve started an integrated river basin management project and we are now working with other authorities to improve the water quality of Sungai Sarawak to Class II,” he added.

He added that rivers that fell to Class IV and V meant dead rivers.

Uggah, together with Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Fadillah Yusof, Samariang assemblywoman Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Kuching City North Datuk Bandar Abang Mohamad Atei Medaan and engineers from DBKU toured around Kampung Semerah Padi and Kampung Sungai Bedil Besar to visit the flood mitigation and drainage upgrading projects.

(Taken from Borneo Post)