Report: Four KL water retention ponds to still prevent floods despite development approval; two other ponds had ownership cancelled

A view of the flood retention pond at Taman Wahyu in Kuala Lumpur June 16, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
A view of the flood retention pond at Taman Wahyu in Kuala Lumpur June 16, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Four water retention ponds in Kuala Lumpur intended to prevent floods will still continue to serve as flood retention ponds and will not be filled in, even though the area around these ponds had been approved for development, a report has said.

Local daily Berita Harian quoted Federal Territories Land and Mines Department director Datuk Muhammad Yasir Yahya as saying these four water retention ponds — namely the Batu, Nanyang, Delima and Taman Wahyu ponds — would also serve as recreational parks.

“Those areas will not only remain as per their original function, but through additional steps that will be taken covering the aspect of compliance with technical comments by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, those sites will also be dual-function in nature.

“The dual-function means that part of it will be upgraded as recreational sites that not only give added value to the surrounding area, but also benefit society, especially the local community,” he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.

As for the two other water retention ponds at Taman Desa and Batu 4½ in Kuala Lumpur, he was quoted as saying that the approval for the ownership of these two sites had been cancelled and the ownership applicant would have to carry out upgrades.

He was reported as saying that no development can be carried out at the Taman Desa water retention pond and that it would remain according to the gazette of its reserves, while the Batu 4½ pond will have the dual function with its main function for flood mitigation while also serving as a public recreational park.

Last December 28, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to begin investigating DBKL’s approval of the development of six retention ponds that are used for flood prevention.

She claimed the development approval had completely crippled Kuala Lumpur’s flood mitigation system last month.

Yeoh also claimed there had been 48 flash floods recorded from 2015 to 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.

On January 1, Yeoh together with two other city lawmakers, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil and Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, lodged a police report to press for an investigation into the development of the six water retention ponds.

The MACC confirmed on January 4 that it is investigating the matter.

On January 10, Berita Harian reported that two of the six water retention ponds — Kolam Wahyu and Kolam Delima — are in the process of development, while the development plan at Kolam Taman Desa had been cancelled, and that there are still no developments at the three other ponds — Kolam Nanyang, Kolam Batu and Kolam Batu 4½.

On January 11, Berita Harian reported former Department of Irrigation and Drainage director-general Datuk Nor Hisham Mohd Ghazali as saying that the technical and engineering agency responsible for flood issues had in the past recommended for several water retention ponds in Kuala Lumpur to be gazetted for such purposes instead of being used for commercial purposes to address floods risks.

Nor Hisham added that the recommendations had been rejected by the decision-making body, Kuala Lumpur Land Executive Committee.

On January 12, Berita Harian reported the Federal Territories Ministry as having given an assurance that existing water retention ponds in Kuala Lumpur will be preserved and not undergo any commercial development.

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