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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 21: The Ministry of Local Government and Housing should seriously consider building a barrage the near Sungai Tabuan river mouth to mitigate flooding problems that have troubled Lorong Foochow areas for some 40 years.
Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said this project was estimated to cost RM380 million, according to a written reply to questions she posed during the last State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting from the Ministry, which she received recently.
She had questioned the reasons for the ministry and the council responsible, such as Kuching South City Council (MBKS), for not upgrading the drainage system, which was in poor condition, into concrete drains in Lorong Foochow No. 1T, 1V, 1V1, 1Y and 1Z in the Tabuan Ulu area.
She also questioned if there were measures taken to solve the serious flash flood problems at the areas that would be affected, especially during a king tide.
Yong read out the response: “Based on the technical advice, upgrading of earth drain and raising of the road level in Lorong Foochow areas will not be effective in mitigating flooding issues because the said area is naturally low-lying and tidal flooding is the dominating factor.
“The only effective solution is to construct a barrage near Sungai Tabuan river mouth with a total estimated cost of RM380 million.”
The ministry added that federal funding was required in order to provide an effective solution to this flooding issue in Tabuan Ulu area.
“If it is practical and the only effective way to solve the long outstanding flood issue at these areas, please expedite to materialise this project,” she urged.
Otherwise, Yong said, the residents would continue to be worried and face the risk of property damage every time a flood hits.
She added that the state government should not make the lack of funds an excuse for not carrying out projects that could improve living standards and solve the problems of the people.
“If this is a practical and effective solution, which I believe is a suggestion from the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), then please speed up the process and make it happen.
“The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has emphasised that they have sufficient reserves to carry out development for Sarawak.
“They cannot always use no money as an excuse or reason to (not) solving problems,” she asserted. — DayakDaily