Over 120 roadside slopes damaged in Penang floods

Lim-Hock-Seng-PENANGGEORGE TOWN: The Penang government says there are a large number of collapsed or damaged roadside slopes at more than 120 different locations on the island following the Nov 4-5 flash floods and have pledged RM17.2 million to repair them as soon possible.

State Public Works committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said the majority of the damaged slopes were on state-maintained roads at 71 locations.

He said most of the damage was seen along Jalan Tun Sardon, a road that leads to Balik Pulau on the west coast of the island, he told reporters yesterday.

Lim said another 50 sites with landslides were detected along the Teluk Kumbar-Tanjung Tokong portion of Route 6, a trunk road that circles the island’s coast.

He said these 50 sites were located along roads maintained by the Federal government.

He said the cost to repair the federal roads could be as much as RM8.5 million and the Penang government has since applied to the Federal authorities for funding.

Meanwhile, the Penang government has also announced a total of RM22.66 million in emergency funds to repair major infrastructure affected by the Nov 4-5 flash floods.

Out of the amount, RM5.4 million will go to repair bridges, drains and collapsed and damaged river banks.

State Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said most of the RM5.4 million will be spent on Central Seberang Perai district on the mainland and the Northeast district on the island.

“The state drainage and irrigation department has been tasked to carry out the repairs from the approved funds, with some work already having begun owing to the urgency of the damage sustained from the floods.

“A tender for the projects will be expedited and called very soon,” Chow said.

The Nov 4-5 flash floods were caused by an extraordinary one and half month’s worth of rainfall, which displaced nearly 8,000 people in the state. It was the second incidence of major flash floods in Penang in a span of two months.