Selangor steps up efforts to stop pollution and avoid unscheduled supply cut

The latest supply disruption affected 1.2 million account holders in the Klang Valley. — Filepic

SELANGOR will be looking into expanding their existing river database to cover wider areas in its efforts to prevent future major water cuts from happening again because of water pollution.

According to Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, the odour pollution was traced to Sungai Gong in Rawang.

Sungai Gong is a tributary of Sungai Sembah, which in turn is a main tributary of Sungai Selangor.

“Moving forward, we have to tighten and expand our network and database to cover all scenarios.

“As you can see, this pollution actually started from a smaller river, which is Sungai Gong, ” Amirudin said during a press conference after the launch of Selangor Budget 2021 Dialogue at Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam.

He said that future developments close to rivers would also have to be looked at more closely and that all aspects needed to be scrutinised before planning permits were issued.

“All applications for development in the vicinity of rivers must also go through Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) and the agency will give its feedback.

“We are still actively carrying out operations to weed out illegal and unlicensed factories and ensure all the rest are licensed and in compliance with regulations, ” he said, adding that this exercise would continue until year-end.

Amirudin noted that Luas also had a team of experts who were working on ways to prevent future water cuts from occurring because of pollution.

“We have three former Drainage and Irrigation Department heads, two academics who specialise in the water industry and river activists.

“However, we need the cooperation of the people too, especially against irresponsible parties who pollute the rivers and manholes, ” he said.

He cited previous cases where those responsible for causing pollution were found guilty of dumping waste into manholes.

“Warnings have been given time and time again but to no avail, so we will be stepping up enforcement and increase monitoring to ensure this does not happen again, ” he assured.

In terms of punishment, Amirudin said it was out of his hands as other agencies such as the Environment Department (DOE) could make a better case with the Environment Act.

“For our part, we will compile data and proof of wrongdoing and work with DOE to solve the matter.

“Punishment is decided by the court or DOE, ” he said.

The latest water supply disruption affected about 1.2 million account holders in the Klang Valley.

On a separate matter, Amirudin hoped that the misunderstanding caused by his wife on social media over the weekend would be laid to rest as she had already apologised.

His wife Datin Seri Masdiana Muhamad had posted two photographs on her social media account, one of an Air Selangor water tanker and the other of the swimming pool at their home.

These photographs sparked anger and criticism among netizens, who said this was inappropriate especially during a major water disruption in the state.

“My wife has apologised for her post and the water tanker was not there to fill up our pool.

“She just wanted to express how happy and thankful she is that the water tanker came with clean water after waiting for almost a day, ” he said.

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