DBKL mulling early warning system, more flood retention ports, says Federal Territories minister

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa speaks to reporter after attending the Bukit Kiara Public Park Beautification Programme in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa speaks to reporter after attending the Bukit Kiara Public Park Beautification Programme in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is looking at implementing an early warning system and the addition of more flood retention ports to address flash floods in the city.

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said discussions on these possible solutions are ongoing.

He added that he is also awaiting a comprehensive report on the SMART Tunnel’s functionality.

“I have spoken to the deputy director of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage who suggested, among others, that we add more flood retention ports.

“I also mentioned installing an early warning system. This doesn’t mean there won’t be any natural disasters, but it will allow us to pre-empt the public,” said Annuar today during a tree-planting event at Taman Awam Bukit Kiara here.

Last Thursday, vast swathes of Kuala Lumpur were inundated with water after heavy rain led to swollen rivers.

Havoc ensued as many roads, homes, vehicles and buildings were hit by flash floods.

The floods happened even though the SMART Tunnel was fully operational.

Annuar said the early warning system could take the form of an app that will provide users with information on areas that are at risk of flooding so that they can then travel by an alternative route or prepare for any eventualities.

“There are 50 flooding hotspots in KL. Say, for example, rivers swell due to a heavy downpour. This will trigger the app and you will be notified of potential floods.

“Some people have dismissed this idea. But if you think about it, we can predict the weather accurately a day before. In that same vein, the app will be used to alert people of potential dangers so they can be avoided,” Annuar explained.

Apart from that, the minister was asked whether the SMART Tunnel was working properly during last week’s floods and if they were caused by a drainage system that is clogged with rubbish.

Annuar agreed that this could have contributed to the floods, but added that another reason was the city’s many construction projects.

“Yes, that (rubbish) could be one of the factors; the other being the many construction sites in the city, which, in a city like Kuala Lumpur, is inevitable.

“Despite DBKL being strict with offenders, it’s hard to enforce and people still pollute the environment.

“So we’re looking at the punishments to see if they are in keeping with the times, as some of these Acts were made years ago and a fine then may not be as steep as it could be now. We need to review this as well,” he added.

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