SMC determined to be wet blanket on rampant open burning

Many low lying areas in Sibu were inundated by heavy rain on June 23, 2020.

SIBU, July 1: SMC received many complaints during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period about open burning as it appeared that people had nothing better to do than to do open burning during the lockdown period.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting is adamant about putting a stop to this practice. He revealed the council is mulling working with the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) on this.

“SMC plans to talk to Bomba by getting their assistance to put out any open burning by residents when we receive complaints,” he said.

The council would also seek the assistance of the Natural Resource and Environment Board (NREB) to reduce incidence of this hazard.

“The council can issue warnings or compound, but open burning can still happen if the people refuse to cooperate to refrain from burning,” Ting pointed out.

Meanwhile, concerning the flash flood which hit Sibu town on June 23 that covered some roads in low lying areas under two feet of water, he revealed the government intended to build a pump station at Jalan Langsat to address the situation.

“The pump station at Loba Lembangan does help the front part of Jalan Tiong Hua where flooding is less now. But flooding is very bad at the back of Jalan Tiong Hua, Merlin Lane and Jalan Punai.

“So maybe that is the solution. I already wrote a letter a few months ago to request that a pump station be built at the open area in Jalan Langsat,” he disclosed.

He noted that according to the Meteorological Department, a total of 190mm of rainfall was recorded that day.

“Anything that is over 50mm is consider heavy rain. This is a natural phenomenon. I advise residents not to politicise it. Even water was also seeping into my house on that day,’ he said.

Ting also noted that in certain areas, the flood water was gone several hours later after the heavy downpour which started at about 4pm that day.

“The road in front of the public library was under two feet of water but by 6.45pm, the water was gone. At Rejang Park, the water started to flow out at 7.30pm,” he said.

In certain areas like Lane 4, Jalan Kelama, the council is not able to do much to solve the flooding issue as the road sits on private land.

“The council cannot solve all water issues as in the case of Jalan Kelama, it is private land,” Ting said, before highlighting that the council needs to seriously look into flooding issues along Jalan Pahlawan as it is a main road. — DayakDaily