Strange chimney-like structure near Wisma Bapa is a manhole

The 3-metre high cylindrical structure at the junction to Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching is a manhole which uses the ‘sinking method'.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, June 16: A strange chimney-like structure at the junction to Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya should be no cause for alarm among members of the public as it is just one of the manholes for Package 2 of the Kuching Centralised Sewerage System.

State Sewerage Services Department director Lau Hieng Ung said the 3-metre high cylindrical structure was a manhole which uses the ‘sinking method’.

He said there will be a few if such strictures to be constructed due to soil condition in Petra Jaya area.

“Normally we build downwards. But in some areas, we use the ‘sinking method’ because of soil condition,” Lau told DayakDaily when contacted today.

As the name suggests, the structure will soon sink to ground zero level to allow the underground tunneling process to take place.

“Under Package 2, 47 major manholes will be built across Petra Jaya from Datuk Temenggong Kipali Roundabout, along Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’kub Road, in the vicinity of Bangunan Baitulmakmur, Court Complex and along Tun Salahuddin Road leading to the sewerage treatment located near the Salahuddin Bridge,” he said.

Lau said due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), the contractors were unable to carry out construction works for a period of two months.

“And under Conditional MCO, only partial work could be done.

“But under Recovery MCO, which started on June 12, works have resumed as usual,” said Lau, who is optimistic that they can catch up in due time as the time frame of the project is 72 months.

“Overall, the project is now 29 per cent completed. But we have a lot to catch up to do. However, we are optimistic that the project will be completed in 2023 as scheduled,” he said.

The Package 2 project which covers Petra Jaya area costs RM750 million to implement and construction began in 2017.

Upon completion, it will be able to provide sewerage services up to 40,000 population equivalent (PE) in Petra Jaya area, such as Jalan Astana and Kpg Gita once it is completed in six years’ time.

Package 2 is part of the Kuching centralised sewerage system which commenced with the commissioning of a masterplan in 2003 and later with the physical implementation of Phase 1 in 2008.

Lau said the technology applied here was based on an advanced Japanese tunneling technology used by the Kumpulan-Nishimatsu-Hock Seng Lee Consortium, which successfully completed Phase 1, at a cost of RM530 million several years ago.

The areas covered under the completed Package 1 project are mostly commercial and hotels in the city’s golden triangle and covers Satok, Wisma Saberkas right up to Padungan area, which include housing areas, commercial centres and hotels. Its completion in 2015 has enabled the department to provide sewerage services up to 100,000 PE capacity.

The sewerage service processes both black and grey water from the city’s main centre which is treated at the sewerage plant located near the former Zecon Plaza. The treatment plant has been operational with a capacity of up to 100,000 PE.

‘Black’ water refers to the waste water from the septic tanks while ‘grey’ water refers to water discharge from kitchens, bathrooms and washing areas.

The sewerage system will collect and treat both the ‘black’ and ‘grey’ water to standard A, which would then be released to the Sarawak River. This will ensure that Sarawak River  remains healthy. —DayakDaily