Prince Naruhito (second from left) being briefed on the SMART tunnel.
KUALA LUMPUR: Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito on Saturday visited the dual-purpose Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) as part of his five-day visit to Malaysia.
During the 45-minute visit, Naruhito was briefed about the SMART tunnel system by the operations director of its control centre, Amiruddin Alaldin.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told reporters that the visiting prince had expressed admiration of the technology used in the stormwater drainage and road structure, and that Malaysians should be proud that it was well known internationally.
"If we look at Japan, it is a very developed nation but there are areas that we can show them especially in terms of the SMART technology," he said.
Earlier, Naruhito was welcomed by the minister and Irrigation and Drainage Department director-general Datuk Seri Zulkefli Hassan. Present was Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim, who is the minister-in-attendance.
In his royal address at Universiti Malaya yesterday, Naruhito described the SMART tunnel as "quite a unique facility in the world", pointing out that it served the dual purposes of alleviating traffic congestion as well as flood drainage. Opened in 2007, the SMART tunnel is able to divert up to three million cubic metres of water and is being used by tens of thousands of vehicles daily.
It comprises a 9.7km stormwater tunnel and a 3km motorway tunnel within the stormwater tunnel.
Earlier today, the crown prince visited the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur and attended a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya. His visit is the highlight of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Malaysia-Japan bilateral relations. - Bernama