KL needs $9b for flood-relief projects
Tue, Dec 11, 2007
The Straits Times
GEORGE TOWN (PENANG) - THE Malaysian government needs RM21 billion (S$9 billion) for flood-mitigation projects nationwide to end the perennial problem of flooding.

A recent survey by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) showed that once all the flood-mitigation projects have been put in place, the country is expected to be free of flooding.

DID director-general Keizrul Abdullah, however, said the implementation of the flood-mitigation projects would take some time, the New Straits Times reported.

'RM21 billion is an extremely huge figure. The government has many other responsibilities. As such, we have to implement the flood-mitigation projects in phases and according to priority,' he said on Sunday.

The floods on Malaysia's east coast have so far claimed seven lives in Kelantan, Pahang and Johor states, local media reported yesterday.

More than 4,000 people were sent to relief centres as forecasters warned of more monsoon rains across the country, The Star said.

The meteorological department warned that moderate rainfall in Kelantan and Pahang is expected to continue until this morning.

On the flood-mitigation projects, Datuk Keizrul cited the Smart (Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel) system in Kuala Lumpur as an example, saying that it had managed to avert two floods following its opening in the middle of this year.

The Smart system's automated flood-control gates at both ends of the motorway convert it into a flood tunnel to divert water from its storage reservoir into Sungai Kerayong and Sungai Klang.

Datuk Keizrul said the government had allocated RM4 billion for 300 flood-mitigation projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

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