GEORGE TOWN: Flood mitigation efforts in Penang appear to be focused on areas held by BN, a Penang executive councillor told the state assembly today.
State Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota) said flood mitigation plans (FMPs) worth RM665 million had been implemented in BN areas since 2008.
Chow said these were for:
# Sungai Muda FMP (RM1.3 billion, RM90 million spent on Penang side of the river, begun in 2008);
# Bertam-Kepala Batas FMP (RM152 million, begun in 2011);
# Tasek Gelugor FMP (RM41 million 2013, completion next month);
# Sungai Prai FMP, begun in 2008 (RM330.5 million);
# North Seberang Prai River Conservation Project (RM1.87 million);
# Sungai Kerian FMP (RM49 million, completion by March 2017).
“Since most of these mitigation plans have already been carried out in these areas, our efforts have shifted to other areas without allocations from the federal government.
“Contrary to claims by the state opposition, the Penang government had spent RM1.38 million this year in development funds for Sungai Acheh (an area held by BN in Nibong Tebal).
“The latest funding of RM150 million for the Sungai Pinang River Basin FMP was not even half of the RM350 million we had asked for,” Chow said during his winding-up speech at the assembly.
He said the Penang government had deepened drains in Sungai Udang and Sungai Acheh, too. These two areas are held by BN assembly members.
“We have upgraded the irrigation system in Sungai Acheh and Kampung Sungai Udang, and built a bund at the estuary of Sg Air Itam in Sungai Acheh.”
Chow announced a steering committee to look at implementation of FMPs in Penang. This follows a proposal from Lee Khai Loon (PKR-Machang Bubok).
Chow said this Flood Mitigation Plan Implementation Steering Committee will discuss suggestions by technical experts.
“The committee will be headed by me. It will include assembly members, the Penang Island mayor, the Seberang Prai Municipal council president, district and land officers and the Public Works Department,” he said in a reply to Lee.