No changes to Selangor water tariffs, says minister

Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Xavier Jayakumar visits the Pantai 2 Sewage Treatment Plant in Kuala Lumpur January 23, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Xavier Jayakumar visits the Pantai 2 Sewage Treatment Plant in Kuala Lumpur January 23, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Even though Stream B of the Langat Water Treatment Plant 2 (LRA 2 ) has been handed over to Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor), there will be no changes in water tariffs in Selangor.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar in giving this assurance said the government had made all the calculations necessary and found that the tariffs can remain as usual. 

“Air Selangor comes under Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB), which is a government agency. The lease (for LRA 2) comes with the minimum interest rate payable back in 45 years.

“No bank (will give this facility) or will there be another way that they will get the opportunity to pay back over a 45-year period. That is why it’s going to be a very, very nominal sum that is going to be paid by Air Selangor,” he told the press today after witnessing the handing over Stream B of the LRA 2 ,here today.

He was asked whether this handover will affect water tariffs.

PAAB is entrusted with the development of LRA 2 based on financial assistance obtained from the Federal Government. 

Dr Xavier, who is also Kuala Langat MP,  however, said water tariffs should be reviewed in the long term so that the water company is also comfortable and can make use of the extra profit to find solutions on how to reduce non-revenue water. 

He assured that total household expenditure for water and will not go beyond two per cent.

Meanwhile, commenting on suggestions to obtain raw water supply from Pahang to be distributed to other states in the peninsula, Dr Xavier said the ministry is looking at a few proposals and needed to study this in depth as it involved a huge cost.

Earlier in his speech, Dr Xavier said the Federal Government through PAAB had allocated RM4.2 billion for the construction of the LRA 2 to meet the increasing water demand in the Klang Valley. 

He said the LRA 2 will be able to supply 1,130 million litres per day (MLD) to cater to nearly two million people after its full completion by 2023.

Stream B will supply 565 MLD to almost 900,000 people in Hulu Langat, Cheras, Bangi, Semenyih and the Pudu area.

The LRA2 is expected to meet water demand in the Klang Valley until 2025. Construction started in 2014 and was initially scheduled  to be completed in 2017. 

Dr Xavier also highlighted that the ministry will closely monitor all dam levels through the National Water Services Commission (SPAN)  to ensure adequate supply of raw water.

He added that SPAN had identified and carried out several mitigation measures for states like Kedah, Penang and Perlis which are facing a prolonged dry period. — Bernama

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