By A. Jeyaraj
Ever since the last massive flooding of Lim Garden, residents have been having sleepless nights fearing when the next flooding would occur because the cause(s) of the flooding has not been identified. Dato’ Haji Abdul Rahim, Secretary MBI agreed to meet the residents to discuss their problems. The meeting was attended by Dato’ Daniel Tay, councillor for Lim Garden and staff from relevant departments of MBI and a representative from DID.
The main concern was installation of a new pump at the retention pond. Initially MBI informed that the pump would be installed in July, but now it has been postponed to March next year. The rainy season has started and residents are worried that the single pump installed will not be able to drain the water. They requested that at least two pumps be installed.
During heavy rainfall the drains are full and the water overflows into the compound. The drains are not cleaned and overgrown with grass and prevent flow of water. Drains are also damaged. MBI informed that they are short of staff and cannot clean the drains every 21 days as mentioned by the Mayor in Issue 151 of Ipoh Echo. Drains are normally cleaned when complaints are received.
Residents voiced concern about dilapidated empty houses with their compounds overgrown with weeds. To their relief, the toe drain along the river bund was cleaned by MBI and DID workers and weeds in a few of the empty houses were cleared a few days after the meeting.
My opinion is that instead of only acting on residents’ complaints, MBI/DID engineers must make their own studies and come up with solutions. During heavy rain engineers must visit the site and assess the flow of water.
The retention pond only handles about one third of the drainage system. The two pumps planned to be installed at Lorong Pari and Jalan Abdul Manap are outstanding. These are low-lying areas which have a separate drainage system and are prone to flooding after heavy rain.
What makes me wonder is that most of the issues raised are common to all housing estates. It was a good gesture of Dato’ Rahim to meet the residents, but if he is going to meet the residents in other housing estates; then when is he going to do his job?
Maybe, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, Exco for Local Councils should restructure MBI to enable it to function efficiently. Make it easier to hire and fire staff like private companies. It is no point having a bloated organisation if it cannot deliver.