KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Water concessionaire SPLASH must bear the responsibility of its failure to be prepared for emergencies and the resulting extended water disruption in the Klang Valley, Selangor state assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said today.
Yeoh noted that there was initially a scheduled water disruption on March 6 to enable 10 hours of critical equipment repair works at the Sungai Selangor Water Supply Scheme Phase 3 (SSP3) water treatment plant managed by Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH).
But Yeoh said Klang Valley residents were on March 6 informed of a sudden surge vessel system burst at the SSP3 plant, which injured several workers and caused a “massive delay” to the restoration of water supply in the affected areas of the Klang Valley.
“The management of SPLASH must take responsibility for their failure to prepare for all contingencies including the injury caused to the personnel at site. Arguably the degree of negligence (if any) and incompetence in the manner which the upgrading/repair exercise was carried out has to be thoroughly investigated.
“The buck stops with the top management of SPLASH and the people of Selangor expect stern action to be taken,” the Subang Jaya assemblyman said in a statement today.
Earlier in her statement, Yeoh said the extended water cuts had caused “immense suffering to more than 500,000 households in Selangor for an insufferable four days and still counting”.
She said the Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali even had to call for Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) and Pengurusan Air Selangor to urgently intervene and help SPLASH to speed up repair works at the SSP3 plant, claiming that the latter had not given regular updates.
“SPLASH has failed to provide regular updates on the status of repair works resulting in more disruption to the daily routine of households and operations of businesses.
“SPLASH being the concessionaire and supplier of treated water to SYABAS should have been more equipped to handle such incidents. I cannot imagine the impact beyond this Sunday if the intervention for repair works had not been provided by the State Government,” said Yeoh, who is also the Selangor Speaker.
According to Yeoh, the Selangor government previously headed by the Barisan Nasional coalition had in January 2000 granted a 30-year concession to SPLASH to build, operate and maintain the SPP3 water treatment plant, with the firm’s core business being the production of treated water that is sold in bulk to Syabas.
This evening, Syabas said the SPLASH-operated SSP3 water treatment plant is now operating at an average capacity of 830 million litres per day.
Syabas said the targeted gradual restoration of water supply in the Klang Valley will begin this midnight or early tomorrow morning, depending on the water pressure at the distribution system and depending on customers’ locations and premises height.