Friday, August 24, 2012

City Hall to solve flood woes in Segambut

Kuala Lumpur mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib (center) and Lim (left) checking the damage caused by the recent flood.
Source: (Story by NOEL ACHARIAM AND SHEILA SRI PRIYA, 24/8/2012)
SEEKING SOLUTION: Recent flood caused by clogged drain and faulty pumps
City Hall will be taking immediate action to remedy the flood issue that hit the Segambut area on the third day of Hari Raya. Mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib said City Hall will take full responsibility for the flash floods that inundated the Segambut area, affecting 1,400 families. "We understand the plight of the people here. We will take the necessary steps to help curb the problem and look into adequate compensation for the people," he said after visiting the flood-prone area in Segambut yesterday. He also stressed that City Hall does not want to keep on paying compensation and not solve the flood issue.
"We are worried that the area will continue facing floods if the issue is not resolved. We will try and reduce flooding here before the rainy season starts next month," he said. Phesal said two incidents had caused the three-metre-high floods in Segambut on Tuesday afternoon. "The first incident occurred because of a clogged drain beneath the construction site of an elevated highway at Jalan Dutamas Raya. City Hall is building a highway to ease the traffic congestion in the Segambut area. "The construction debris that got caught in the drain was one of the causes of the floods. We have instructed the developer to clean up the drain immediately," he said.
He said the other incident happened at one of the water pump stations in the area. "Two of the water pumps had malfunctioned during the flash floods. The station was upgraded last October from manual to automatic. The station is still under the maintenance period and we have instructed the contractor to rectify the problem and station a person to monitor the pumps until the maintenance period is over," he said. Phesal also said as a precautionary measure, City Hall will have more than one contractor on standby to monitor the pumps. "We will get the residents to be in charge of contacting the contractor when there is heavy rain. We will also give out the contact number of more than one contractor," he said. Phesal was commenting on the residents' frustration when they couldn't contact the contractor on the day of the floods because his mobile phone was switched off.
Areas hit by the floods were Segambut Dalam, Segambut Masjid, Segambut Bahagia, Segambut Gate, Segambut Luar, Kampung Pasir and Segambut Permai. On the long-term measures that will be taken to ease the flood situation in Segambut, Phesal said City Hall is currently designing a large storm drain to channel water from Taman Segambut  (SPPK) to Sungai Toga. The drain is expected to cost RM3 million and will be completed between nine months and a year. "We have already instructed the developer to speed up the design of the storm drain. We expect to finish the design in the next two months," he said.
Phesal said  City Hall will also be upgrading the Kampung Benteng retention pond, which is expected to be completed in March next year. "We will be enlarging the capacity of the retention pond to handle the high volume of rainwater. The water from Kampung Benteng will be released into Sungei Keroh and diverted to the Jinjang retention pond," he said.
Phesal said  City Hall will be calling for a town hall session with the residents. "We will soon inform the residents of projects that are taking place in the Segambut area, so that they can contact us if in an emergency. We will also be replacing the carpets at the surau that was affected by the floods and City Hall will be sending our officers to help clean up the area," he said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng thanked the mayor for visiting the residents here. "We are very pleased with the mayor's visit. We hope that the flood problems will be addressed promptly," he said. Lim also distributed 300 bags of rice to the flood victims on Tuesday.
Mohd Haizain Mawi, 38: It was the third day of Hari Raya and our festive mood was shattered with this incident. We are now cleaning up our houses and it will take us a few days to dry our belongings which we managed to salvage. We do not want promises but fast solutions. We want City Hall to also keep us updated through town hall sessions.
Hassan Kasim, Segambut Bahagia UMNO branch chief: Our village was hit by the worst flood on Wednesday even though it rained less than an hour. The water rose quickly and the villagers could not remove their valuables to higher ground. Residents' cars were stuck in the floods and  their belongings were damaged. However we are glad that the Kuala Lumpur mayor decided to turun padang despite his day off to listen to our grievances.
Azahri Kassim, 48: I have been living in Kampung Segambut Bahagia Village for the past 20 years. I believe there are plans to build two retention ponds here. However, the floods can be avoided if a third retention pond is built on the higher grounds at Mont Kiara. The water flowing here from the more developed areas on higher ground is the cause of the floods. Our village is located on low land which was on former tin mine area. We received 300 bags of rice from Segambut Member of Parliament, Lim Lip Eng, and we are grateful for the contribution.
Muhamad Adam, 58: My son just got married and his new wedding room set was damaged in the flood. My school going children's books and bags were also damaged. Four snakes made their way into the neighbour's house. Luckily, there was no fatality but we fear the worst when we see dark clouds. We are now paranoid.
Segambut Member of Parliament, Lim Lip Eng: I thank the new Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib for his quick response to the residents' plight.
Related news: Segambut folk want KL mayor to resolve flash floods problem

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