‘Build more retention ponds in KL to mitigate floods’

This retention pond in Taman Wahyu, Kepong, is earmarked for development but there are fears it can affect flood mitigation efforts in Kuala Lumpur. — Photos by AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

THE authorities in Kuala Lumpur should build more retention ponds and upgrade existing ones to sustain more water, says community activist Yee Poh Ping.

He also urged Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) to coordinate flood mitigation efforts.

“Come up with a regular schedule to carry out desiltation works at major rivers and ponds, at least thrice a year.

“Build a bund along Sungai Batu, Sungai Jinjang, Sungai Gombak, Sungai Keroh and Sungai Klang to prevent water overflow,” he said.

Yee stressed that the authorities should not approve any more land transfers for developments at water catchment areas.

He cited the retention pond in Taman Wahyu, Kepong, that had been earmarked for a mixed development project.

On Jan 8, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission ordered DBKL to appoint a surveyor to measure the actual land size set aside for the development.

Yee urges the government to stop approving retention pond sites for development.Yee urges the government to stop approving retention pond sites for development.

This came after claims by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh that six retention ponds were alienated between October 2015 and September 2020 for development.

DID deputy director Ratna Rajah Sivapiragasam, in a StarMetro report on Jan 3, said the retention pond remained under its purview although the land it was on had been sold.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah, when contacted, said the survey on the development at the pond in Taman Wahyu would be done speedily.

“A surveyor will come up with a technical drawing to ascertain if the development takes place within its rightful space.

“We need to find out what is the procedure involved and the level of precision needed for the survey,” he said when asked on the timeline of the study.

On a related matter, Yee rapped opposition MPs over this issue.

“Why didn’t they resolve this issue when they were in power?

“This issue is not new as I have raised it several years ago,” he said.

On Jan 1, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil lodged a police report with Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Yeoh, urging for an investigation into the pond alienation issue.

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