Extra RM36 mil allows Jernih Dam project to proceed in Melaka

Melaka Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali (centre) listening to a briefing on the water situation during a visit to the Jus Dam in Jasin today. (Bernama pic)

ALOR GAJAH: The federal government has approved an allocation of about RM200 million, an increase of RM36 million, for the construction of the Jernih Dam here to solve the state’s water supply problem.

Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali said the previous economic affairs ministry had approved the allocation in a letter dated Feb 14.

The Jernih Dam project was put off in 2018 but had been rejuvenated to avoid a water calamity.

Melaka required the additional funds due to a hike in costs.

“The approved amount includes the construction of the structure of the dam, control tower, spillway, Tenaga Nasional Berhad station, water catchment pond and access road.

“We hope construction of the dam, which has a capacity of 13,000 million litres of water, will support the needs of the population until 2030,” he told a press conference after reviewing the water situation at the Durian Tunggal Dam here today.

Earlier, he and Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB) acting CEO Zainal Abidin Ab Rahman visited Jus Dam in Jasin.

Sulaiman said the water, land and natural resources ministry’s Water Supply Division was expected to issue the tender for the Jernih Dam project by next month. The project is expected to be completed in 30 months.

He said the Durian Tunggal Dam only had 16.1% (4,970 million litres), Jus Dam 24.2% (10,475 million litres) and the Asahan Dam 68.9% (480 million litres) of water left.

Previously, water supply rationing was implemented for the first two weeks, starting from Jan 29, involving 550,673 people, representing 62.8% of the population.

It continued for the second phase on Feb 10, involving hospitals, industrial areas and tourism centres.

Water rationing continued in the third phase, starting yesterday, as water levels at the three main dams had yet to record improvements. This was to ensure adequate water supply to withstand the hot dry weather.

Melaka currently has three dams — the Durian Tunggal Dam here and the Jus and Asahan Dams in Jasin.