BAGAN SERAI: The Perak state government is thinking of building a tunnel to channel water from Sungai Perak to the Bukit Merah Lake to solve the water supply shortage problem in the padi-growing areas of the Kerian district,
Menteri Besar Saarani Mohamad said that with the tunnel, the problem in Kerian district, especially during the hot and dry season, could be solved.
Saarani said the state government was now undertaking a study for the project and would identify the best method of implementing the project which was proposed by the department of irrigation and drainage.
“We’ll see when it can be implemented as it will take time. We also need to see if Sungai Perak has enough water (to supply to the Kerian dstrict).
“We cannot take water from the hydroelectric dam as it would interfere with its power-generating turbine,” he said at a news conference after the Menteri Besar-with-Rakyat (Mesra) programme at Dewan Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin, here, today.
In 2016, former Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir had suggested the same water-channeling project from Sungai Perak to Bukit Merah Lake that required an allocation of RM300 million.
Saarani said farmers in Kerian district had been complaining about the water shortage problem during the dry season that would affect their padi output as part of the water from Bukit Merah Lake would also be used by other areas.
The Kerian district is the state’s rice bowl with over 20,000ha of padi fields.
Meanwhile, when asked on the state exco meeting held at the Kerian District Office this morning, Saarani said that among the matters discussed were delays in building the Parit Buntar Hospital and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pelangi Perdana due to the contractors’ failures.
“The state government cannot intervene as these two projects are under the health ministry and education ministry respectively,” he added.
On the Mesra programme, he said it managed to solve many cases involving problems faced by the people including inherited land issues.