Zairil: Federal, state govt allocated RM550m for flood mitigation projects in Penang

Zairil Khir Johari speaks to reporters during a press conference in George Town on May 9, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Zairil Khir Johari speaks to reporters during a press conference in George Town on May 9, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 30 — The Penang government has allocated nearly RM350 million for flood mitigation projects since 2013, hence denying allegations by the Opposition that it has not taken any flood mitigation measures in the state.

Penang Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said since 2013, a total of 369 projects worth RM155 million had been implemented throughout the state using the fund from drainage contribution, which is a mandatory fee imposed on the development projects.

“Meanwhile, the Penang City Council (MBPP) has also spent almost RM43 million on 37 flood mitigation projects during the same period while another RM150 million has been allocated for eight high-impact projects by the state government following the major flood in November 2017,” he said in a statement today.

He said out of the eight projects, six were under construction while two others were in the tender process as their detailed designs had been completed this year.

He explained that although these high impact projects could reduce flooding in critical areas, it would only work after the whole project was completed, most of it was scheduled for next year.

Zairil said in addition to the existing state government project, the Federal Government, since 2018, has approved five projects worth RM200 million including Flood Mitigation Plan (RTB) for Sungai Pinang which has been long overdue.

“Prior to the year 2018, Penang received less funding from Federal government for flood mitigation projects. Therefore, when we combined the overall state and Federal government projects, a total of RM550 million has been allocated for the flood mitigation infrastructure in Penang since 2013,” he said.

However, he could not deny that the existing ditch and drainage infrastructure in the state could not cope with the heavy rainfall occurring over the last two weeks and as such, the state government had taken the initiative to draft a Drainage Master Plan for all the five districts in the state.

He said the master plan, which adopted the guidelines contained in the Manual for Environmental-friendly Drainage (MSMA) by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, is currently the official reference for all planning and development in the five districts.

“Unfortunately, the Opposition just simply accuses the state government of not doing anything to mitigate the flood, some even think that the state's flood mitigation projects is a failure’. I want the people to know that their every allegations are baseless,” he said. — Bernama

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