Monday, May 27, 2013

Flash Flood, Rivers and JPS

I did a press conference on 22 May 2013 together with the residents around Jalan SS21/42a to highlight the urgency of JPS (Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran) to start their river embankment  project, which was supposed to start on 13 Mar 2013. The JPS contractor has finally started work the following day after the press conference. 

Serious riverbank erosion as a consequence of the lack of concrete embankment not only pose danger to buildings by the side of the river (pic) but also bring significant silting effect (pic) downstream, causing shallower riverbeds and potentially flash flood. In fact, Kampung Chempaka, which is situated downstream from this area, just suffered flash flood about 3 weeks ago at Jalan PJU 1/4. 
Erosion: Dangerous to Buildings by Riverside (upper side of the pic)

Silting Effect: Accumulation of Sediments
Although embankment work has started at this area, I noted that JPS does not have a holistic plan for Sungai Kayu Ara, which cut across many areas in Petaling Jaya, some of which are under my constituency. Many projects at Sungai Kayu Ara such as the one mentioned above are localized.  

In my opinion, JPS needs to do the following: -
1. Short-term plan in preparation for coming moonsoon season this year end. This should at least include dredging (taking out the silting) at the high-risk spots along the river, for an example, Kampung Chempaka.
2. Long-term plan on embankment of the entire river through a period of time (5-10 years).  

I have initiated contact with JPS Selangor and can foresee certain limitations on how much as an ADUN I could push in JPS, including the lack of fund at the state level and the lack of support from the federal level. Therefore, to plan and execute a decent long term solution for Sungai Kayu Ara and another river that cuts through my constituency, Sungai Penchala, is a long journey. Actually, I believe the journey is gonna to be probably longer than one term. Nevertheless, I shall do the best I can. 

*Flash flood is a developmental problem that is plaguing Malaysia and our neighbouring countries such as Thailand and the Philippines. It is mainly due to uncontrolled/unplanned development - the lost of the natural water absorption capability resulting from development is not sufficiently compensated by the accompanied drainage system and water flow management. River management is an important element (but not the only element) in reducing the likelihood of flash flood.