Faced with more floods, Penang bumps up Sungai Pinang project to mid-2020

Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo speaks to reporters during a press conference at Komtar October 17, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo speaks to reporters during a press conference at Komtar October 17, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 28 — Physical works on the third phase of the RM150 million Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Project (RTB) will start by the middle of 2020, state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo announced today.

The housing, local government and town and country planning committee chairman said the consultancy design work for the project is expected to be completed by the middle of 2020.

“I have asked our Jelutong MP RSN Rayer to bring up this project in Parliament and push for it to be implemented in phases starting from the middle of 2020,” he told a press conference here this morning.

He said flooding hotspots along the river should be identified for the first phase of the project.

“Out of the RM150 million, about RM10 million is for the consultancy work and once the consultancy report is completed, we can commence physical works,” he said, explaining that the consultancy design work is important to identify the proper alignment for full effectiveness.

Jagdeep said starting the project early will help resolve most of the current flooding issues in low-lying areas in its vicinity of Datuk Keramat as all drains and tributaries on the island eventually empty into the main river before flowing out to sea.

The third phase of the Sungai Pinang RTB project is expected to benefit around 150,000 residents in the 300-hectare flood protection area.

The first phase of the Sungai Pinang RTB started in 1998 with the widening and deepening of the river at RM6.45 million.

The second phase to deepen and widen another portion of the river was completed in 1999.

Phase three of the Sungai Pinang RTB has been in the plans since 1999 but did not take off due to funding issues.

Last year, Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar confirmed the allocation of RM150 million to widen the river at the site between Patani Road and Datuk Keramat.

As for other flood mitigation projects in the state, Jagdeep said the recent floodings in Jalan Van Praagh and Batu Lanchang area would see resolution soon with proposed upgrading works for the drainage system there.

“There are eight drainage upgrading projects costing around RM12.6 million around this area, with one completed, five ongoing and two pending open tender,” he said.

He said over on the mainland, there were three main flood mitigation projects costing about RM80 million that would resolve flooding in 26 locations in Seberang Perai.

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