By A. Jeyaraj
In Issue 146 (July 1-15, 2012) Ipoh Echo featured a story on massive flooding earlier in the year. With the extended rainy season, residents living in the affected areas in Gugusan Manjoi, Lim Garden, Hock Aun Garden, Tai Le Village and Buntong are worried about the recurrence of floods and have enquired about the progress in flood mitigation projects that were to be executed.
Paranoia about flooding rises with level of water in the river
Ipoh Echo interviewed Datuk Abdul Razak Dahalan, Director of Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), Perak on the status of flood mitigation works that are in progress. The following is a report.
Retention Pond in Merdeka Garden
The retention pond costing more than RM3 million will be ready for use this month. The drains leading to the pond have been upgraded and three pumps will be installed.
This should resolve flooding in an area of about 48 hectares including Merdeka Garden (17.54 hectares), part of Pari Garden and SMK Megat Khas. Merdeka Garden has not flooded for the past two years.
Flood mitigation works in Lim Garden
Two pumps have been installed in the retention pond and a third pump, costing RM50,000 with a flow rate of 10 cusec (283 litres/sec), will be installed by the end of March. A diesel pump has been installed in Jalan Abdul Manap and the residents have been trained on how to operate the pump which they have done a number of times. Maintenance of the pump will be undertaken by MBI.
Gugusan ManjoiIn Lorong Pari, the availability of land opposite is being looked into to build another mini retention pond. This could resolve the flooding in an area of about 14 hectares including around 100 premises and Tarcisian Convent School.
Two pumps with a capacity of 10 cusec (283 litres/sec) have been installed at the entrance of Gugusan Manjoi. Residents in Kg. Tengku Hussin Lama would benefit from this. Meanwhile, the location for a retention pond has been identified along Sungai Pari at Klebang. The design work for this has been completed and discussions are being held to acquire the land.
Sabramaniam a/l Appadurai, Councillor for Buntong, when contacted, informed Ipoh Echo that new monsoon drains have been constructed In Buntong Jaya and other flood prone areas. The flooding problems for the past twenty five years appear to have been solved.
On the Subject of Rivers
Sungai Pinji, cannot be deepened or widened which would have been a simpler solution. Instead, the location for a retention pond has been identified at Batu 8 Tambun. Here, an unused pond can be upgraded and design work and acquisition of land is in progress.
Location for a retention pond for Sg Pari has been identified near Gunung Lang. Meanwhile, Razak said that the maintenance crew is regularly inspecting the condition of the flap gates on Sg. Pari. Debris stuck between the flap and pipe would prevent a tight close and cause backflow. Also part of the mitigation project involves replacing the fallen concrete slabs on either side of the river with stones.Sungai Pari, similarly cannot be deepened or widened. During the rainy season the river is flowing at its maximum capacity and cannot take any further loading. The state government has been advised that all new developments upstream must provide their own retention ponds and not discharge directly into the river.
Drains and Low Deck Bridges
Part of the flooding problem comes from blocked and under sized drains. To mitigate this, a master drainage plan for Ipoh has been prepared which includes the flood prone areas as well. As part of this master plan, drains are being regularly upgraded when funds are available.
The low deck bridge along Jalan Menteri in Kampung Manjoi is being upgraded at a cost of RM4 million and the job is expected to be completed by May this year.
MBI has identified all the bridges that need to be upgraded and have requested for funding under the 10th Malaysia Plan. These will be upgraded as soon as money is available.
Early Warning System
When Ipoh Echo enquired whether an early warning system for flooding can be implemented, Razak said that it was not possible. He said that the rainfall is localised and many surveillance points must be installed therefore requiring a very sophisticated system. Sungai Pari is a small river and water flows from the catchment area to residential areas in a short time.
Lim Garden Residents Committee
The secretary of the Lim Garden Residents’ Committee, K. Sagadevan, has voiced a number of concerns. Owing to the current unpredictability of weather more complications have arisen. Nowadays even during a short heavy shower, the drains overflow and the compounds of houses and fields become flooded.
During a recent heavy rainfall, a number of houses in Lim Garden were flooded because the pumps in the retention pond were started late by the attendants. The committee feels that residents must be trained to operate the pumps to ensure that the water is at the minimum level in the pond in order to enable rainwater from the drains to flow into it. As the main cause of flooding of Jalan Muhibbah and Jalan Abdul Manap is backflow of water from Taman Idris, the water must be routed to the new retention pond in Merdeka Garden.
The toe drain along river bund from Jalan Raja to Jalan Abdul Manap must be upgraded so that backflow water can run to the pump in Jalan Abdul Manap instead of flowing into Jalan Muhibbah, often causing flooding.
Let us hope that these measures would be effective in preventing flooding and that the residents can live in peace.