Authorities fail to take pre-emptive measures to address pollution, say consumers

Under the hot sun and in the pouring rain, the water cut due to shutdowns at the Sungai Selangor Water Treatment Plants Phase 1, 2 and 3 and the Rantau Panjang Water Treatment Plant saw residents queueing up at the local service centres set up by Air Selangor.

The centres were set up in Petaling, Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Klang and Kuala Selangor.

Residents of PJS1/25 were seen waiting for water tankers to arrive as the filling stations went dry due to the overwhelming demand.

Some who brought water containers were seen precariously balancing their filled-up vessels on motorcycles as they made their way home.

Bystanders said that some tankers had not come to deliver supply and they were headed to get water from the filling station to be delivered at another area.

They commended the lorry drivers for being helpful as they assisted residents while they were there.

At the Taman Bukit Kuchai filling station set up by Air Selangor, three auxiliary policemen were stationed there to ensure physical distancing was observed and that people queued up.

Though there was a sense of order, it was clear that residents were irate and disappointed at yet another water cut.

Taman Bukit Kuchai resident Thilagan Palainiandy, 45, who arrived at the scene on his motorcycle had to leave work to fetch water because there was no way his 72-year-old mother would be able to do it alone.

He was also dissatisfied with the way information on the whereabouts of the filling stations and public taps was being disseminated.

“Older people don’t know how to use social media.

“And not everyone knows how to download apps and such. “The authorities should have some way to distribute the information physically, like going from house to house,” added Thilagan.

Residents also said it was high time the authorities took pre-emptive measures against pollution threats beforehand and not deal with it when it happened.

At the Taman Bukit Kuchai filling station, former sales engineer Sunil Saranapala, 53, who lived at the Sri Tanjung Apartment in Bandar Puchong Jaya said frequency of water disruptions caused by pollution indicated lack of enforcement by the authorities.“Factories situated along the banks of Sungai Selangor and at any of each major tributaries should have been relocated even before the building of the water treatment plants.

“This is a matter of national security. Public interest must come first, especially when water is such a precious commodity,” said Sunil.

Taman Mawar resident Vasuthevan Athaly, 55, said in addition to the factory owners’ responsibility to discharge their chemical effluents safely, the Selangor government must take immediate action to come up with the necessary structure and enforcement framework for such environmental solutions.

“It is tempting to resort to illegal dumping due to the cost factor if we leave it to the individual owners to handle the disposal of their effluents,” said Vasuthevan.

Meanwhile, resident Faridah Abdullah, 55, had only one question to ask.

“How many more water cuts will we have to endure before the problem is finally taken care of?” she asked.

To lessen the people’s burden, she suggested that water tankers be dispatched from house to house instead of making residents, some of whom live as far as 2km away, go all the way to filling stations.

Air Selangor has announced that in addition to its filling stations, water supply can also be obtained from public standpipes in Petaling at Taman Wawasan, USJ2, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council store at Jalan TP2 at Taman Perindustrian in Subang UEP and Jalan Indah 2/2 in Puchong Indah.

In Gombak, they are located at Lembah Jaya Selatan and AU3 Keramat.

In Klang, there is one in Persiaran Setia Murni Setia Alam and in Kuala Selangor, it is located at the Tanjung Karang Bus Station.

Information on the unscheduled water supply disruption will be given from time to time through Air Selangor’s communication channels, including social media, Air Selangor mobile application and website

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