Bracing for floods in Sepang

Debris left on pipes over a monsoon drain in Kampung Giching, Sepang after the major floods in December 2021. — Filepic

People living in low-lying areas in Dengkil, Labu and Sepang areas in Selangor are being advised to prepare for the possibility of floods following warnings of heavy rainfall starting today.

Sepang Municipal Council (MPSepang) president Datuk Abd Hamid Hussain said the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) had forecast thunderstorms in parts of Selangor from now until next month.

In view of this, he said the local authority was taking several measures to prepare for floods.

He said MPSepang had worked with KDEB Waste Management to ensure that all drains were cleaned to cope with the increased waterflow.

However, he asked stakeholders to play a part by notifying them of any drains that had been overlooked.

ALSO READ: Floods: 307 areas in Selangor at risk in coming monsoon season

“The contractors are scheduled to clean the drains only twice a month and sometimes the frequency is not enough.

“So, we need people to inform us if they are aware of any clogged areas,” he told reporters after MPSepang’s full board meeting.

He said the council had also prepared community halls in Dengkil, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi and Sepang for use as temporary relief centres.

“Our Special Action Squad (Pantas) has two boats to help with the relief effort.

“However, we have also arranged for boat owners in Pantai Bagan Lalang to assist us if needed,” Abd Hamid said.

During the floods in December last year, he said many council employees were affected, which hampered relief efforts.

So this year, he said those on standby would be from areas that are not expected to be affected.

ALSO READ: Floods: Conditions continue to worsen in Sepang

On a separate matter, Abd Hamid said the council had proposed a deficit budget of around RM228.1mil for next year.

“This is the first time that MPSepang’s budget has exceeded the RM200mil mark.

“Its estimated income is projected at RM186mil, so the deficit is RM42.1mil.

“However, the increased budget is justifiable as we have planned some major improvements to prepare for disaster as well as the effects of climate change.

“We also plan to improve the digitisation of our services for better efficiency and public convenience, have more community-based activities, push for greener and more sustainable initiatives, and upgrade infrastructure such as children’s playgrounds and community halls,” he added.

The council’s proposed expenses came to only around RM207mil, he said, but the state had approved the construction of MPSepang’s new building next year and that would cost an additional RM20.9mil.

Although MPSepang has a healthy reserve of RM400mil, Abd Hamid said they would look at various ways to reduce the deficit next year.

This includes implementing measures such as resuming the collection of parking charges in places that were previously waived, and collecting assessment taxes from new developments.

Additionally, in conjunction with Deepavali celebration, he said traders interested in setting up pop-up stalls would be given temporary licences if their operation did not cause obstruction.

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