Kuantan MP: Make monsoon drains a must in housing schemes to control floods

fuziah-lynas-banjirKUANTAN: Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh wants the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) to place a mandatory condition that any new housing project must have monsoon drains if it is to be approved.

Speaking to FMT, Fuziah said Kuantan was facing a serious lack of monsoon drains and claimed this was because MPK had never had the mandatory condition in place.

She brought this up in the face of floods in Pahang, especially in the Kuantan district.

On Jan 3, Bernama reported that the floods in Pahang had worsened, with the number of victims increasing to 1,884 people from 543 families as of 8am.

On Jan 2, 1,331 victims from 375 families had been evacuated from the flood-stricken areas.

Pahang Civil Defence Force director Zainal Yusof was quoted as saying that Kuantan was the worst-affected district and had recorded the most number of evacuees.

Fuziah said: “When I first became MP, I received a lot of complaints regarding flash floods in neighbourhoods. My checks revealed that there was no proper drainage system planning in place.

“For example, from the bridge at Tanjung Lumpur all the way to Kempadang, there are a lot of new housing areas but all were built without monsoon drains.

“Basically all the drains in the housing areas lead to dead-ends.”

She said she had brought this up with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who had then agreed that this was a serious problem and that the local council should make construction of monsoon drains mandatory.

“But matters that involve the local council are difficult in Kuantan and the council president is a very difficult person to see,” she claimed.

She claimed that in the last five years, she had only been able to see the council president once, and that too only for 15 minutes, adding that other members of the council were just as hard to meet.

“In the past few weeks there was an issue involving hawkers and I couldn’t even see the director in charge of the particular department. He couldn’t even spare half an hour in his ‘busy’ schedule to see me.”

Fuziah said she had also met up with officers of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) who had expressed their concern regarding not only the lack of monsoon drains in the district, but also clearing up of blockages in the monsoon drains that already exist.

“I told them that I thought a lot more could be done regarding the clearing up of all the monsoon drains in the areas, especially areas with the highest risk.

“The DID has given its full cooperation but the officers can’t really do much because of a lack of funding.”

FMT’s attempts to contact MPK president Fadzilla Salleh failed.

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