THE ball is in the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) court to conduct a full investigation into what caused last week’s flash flood near IOI Mall in Puchong.
Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said action should be taken.
“I have spoken to the council president Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan and he has assured me that there will be a full inquiry,” said Gobind at a press conference at the IOI Puchong stretch of the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP).
Both the middle and left lanes of the carriageway of the Puchong-bound side of the LDP were flooded on June 10.
Also affected were IOI Mall’s underground carpark and outer shoplots.
“We cannot have construction at the expense of the people.
“After the first flood (in 2013), measures should have been taken to prevent it from recurring,” said Gobind.
He said based on reports from Prasarana and Litrak, preliminary findings showed that the floods were caused by clogged drains near the IOI Puchong stretch.
“I understand that MPSJ has been told that the drains cannot cope with the water flow,” he said.
Kinrara assemblyman Ng Sze Han, who was also present at the press conference with other MPSJ councillors, said: “Unlike the 2013 incident, the floodwaters receded fast this time.”
MPSJ deputy president Abdullah Marjunid said the rainfall that day was very heavy at 70mm.
“Early reports showed that rainwater did not flow to the river and we need to find out why.
“I urge Prasarana to also do their part in cleaning the clogged drains too,” he said.
A Prasarana Malaysia Bhd spokesman said the flash flood should not be attributed to the LRT Line Extension Project.
“Nevertheless, we have been and will continue to manage our worksites to mitigate potential occurrence of flash flood.”
In a statement, Litrak Group chief executive officer Sazally Saidi said three days before the flash flood at IOI Mall, Litrak had conducted a regular inspection and cleaning of all drains under their purview.
“Although the drains were in a good condition, we noticed that the upstream surface runoff water was unable to flow fast enough through the connected downstream drainage system.
“A joint site visit was conducted with MPSJ and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) the day after the incident,
“MPSJ is coordinating with all relevant parties to clear the whole drainage system at this IOI Mall area.”
Puchong resident Michele Wong said floods in the area were common.
“We worry whenever there is a downpour as traffic will come to a standstill,” she said.
IOI Mall general manager Steven Foo said even though there was a large monsoon drain in front of the mall, it could not cope with the sudden downpour.
“We ensure that our drains are desilted.
“We even installed an extra sub-drain at our own cost to prevent floods at our premises but if the root cause is not resolved, it does not matter how many sub-drains we build.
“The floods affect our business and reputation. We have complained to MPSJ,” he said, adding that more than 40 cars were damaged during the floods.
Puchong MCA chairman Datuk Wong Hock Aun, who was a MPSJ councillor from 1981 to 1996, suspects that either the culvert beneath LDP was too small or the outlet to the river was too narrow and not well-maintained.
“I remember clearly in 2013 that MPSJ and the Selangor Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) had taken flood mitigation steps but the problem has recurred.
“It should be solved once and for all. MPSJ should come up with a flood mitigation plan; if the council does not have the budget for it, they should seek help from the state government.”
Puchong People Service Centre chief Dr Kow Cheong Wei said the flood was probably caused by the haphazard drainage system.
“After the many development projects in Puchong, there were plans to link all the drains but it did not materialise.”
He suggested that MPSJ lead a special task force comprising representatives from the DID, Prasarana, Litrak and Public Works Department to monitor the LRT works.
The flooding that occurred last Wednesday reminded residents and businesses of the 2013 flashflood.
The Star reported then (Flashfloods wreak havoc on LDP, Feb 19, 2013) that the 30-minute flashflood was caused by heavy rain and a backflow from monsoon drains feeding into the Klang River hit two southbound sections of the LDP.
A consultant was then appointed and given two weeks to submit a report on the flash flood. (“Identifying the root cause”, March 1, 2013). The scope of the study includes identifying the affected catchment areas, identifying and reviewing the area’s drainage system, proposing a new drainage system design if necessary, and identifying the source of the flood.
In another article in April 2013 (“Projects to end Puchong floods”), it was reported that the Selangor government approved an allocation of RM8.6mil to address the flood issue in Seri Serdang, Puchong, and works are expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
Gobind said RM5mil and RM2mil had been set aside for the upgrading existing water retention ponds and drainage systems.
“The state government agreed in December last year to allocate the funds to DID for it to begin work as soon as possible.
“Calls for tender and implementation of various aspects of the project will be done in stages this year, and we hope to see it completed by the end of this year,” he said.
StarMetro also reported in 2013 (MPSJ gets ready for monsoon season, Oct 21, 2013) that Puchong is one of the 22 locations identified by MPSJ as a flood-prone area.