Sunday, May 26

Mayor expresses concern about flash floods occurring in MBKS areas

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Chan (seated centre) and his councillors during a photo call.

KUCHING: Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato James Chan has expressed concern about flash floods occurring in some areas within its jurisdiction during the present rainy season.

Chan said “we feel responsible” for the occurrence of flash floods even though the city council had been doing its level best to upgrade drains in MBKS areas.

“Whenever there is heavy rain or intermittent showers, it worries me a lot as people have been telling me that they also worry about the rising water level,” he said when chairing the MBKS Full Council Meeting here today.

At a news conference after the meeting, Chan pointed out that the flash flooding issue in MBKS areas would have lessened had the federal funding worth RM150 million been channelled to improve three strategic locations last year.

The three locations were identified as Lintang Park, Durian Burung and Sg Tabuan Dayak.

“When it rains heavily for more than an hour, there would be flash flood at some locations like Hup Kee and Tabuan Dayak areas.

“We are aware of this because the drains we have at the moment are not able to take the volume of water,” said the mayor.

He believed that the RM150 million federal funding would have improved the situation but MBKS did not get it last year.

According to Chan, the federal funding was supposed to be channelled to the state Drainage and Irrrigation Department (DID) to carry out drain improvement works in MBKS areas.

Even without the RM150 million, he said the city council received RM15 million from the federal government to repair and maintain drains in MBKS areas last year.

“We repaired those old, old drains to speed up the flow of water. And the water does flow faster after the drains are repaired because there is no more blockage.

“It’s not that MBKS is doing nothing, we did repair those old, old drains. We ask the people to be more careful during this rainy season,” he said.

He cautioned that the community particularly those residing in the low-lying areas had to be more cautious when heavy rains coincided with the King Tide.

Chan asserted: “In fact, this is a climatic change. It is happening in not just MBKS but also in Peninsular Malaysia such as Penang and Klang.”

On the repair and maintenance of old drains, he said the city council is currently working on improving those in Ellis Road here.

Last year, among the areas involved were Hui Sing, Tabuan Jaya and Kenyalang Park.

It is learnt that drains measure over 1.5 metres wide – categorised as trunk drains – are under the jurisdiction of the DID Sarawak.