PETALING JAYA: The Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry will try to get a budget to revive the National River Trail programme nationwide.
Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said previously, the effort to obtain an allocation for the programme was called off.
“We will discuss reviving this programme with the Finance Ministry for the 2024 Budget.
“This is a good way to inculcate a sense of responsibility and love for our rivers among the community.
“When we carry out the National River Trail project, we won't make it isolated because we need assistance from NGOs and the community.
“The Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) can handle the infrastructure, but for enforcement, we will need community engagement,” he told a press conference after a working visit to the Sungai Penchala River Trail in Section 14, Petaling Jaya on Tuesday (May 30) afternoon.
In attendance were Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran, Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung and DID representatives.
Nik Nazmi said the public needed to take into consideration that our rivers were assets.
“River trails are meant to be nature-based solutions, and it makes the surrounding community alert when there is pollution.
“Prior to building the river trails, the river was not accessible to the general public.
“So when everyone has access to the river, they will be more aware if there is pollution, and this will help us at the government and Environment Department level to scrutinise issues like the recent river pollution in Sungai Penchala.
“This is my backyard, too. I grew up in Section 14 and used to ride my bicycle here,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nik Nazmi said the ground-breaking ceremony for the Sungai Rasau Water Treatment Plant on Tuesday morning paves the way for increased usage of Sungai Klang.
“Only a small percentage of Sungai Klang is used as a drinking water source.
“If Sungai Klang has better water quality, it will help to make it a new water resource.
“We depend too much on Sungai Selangor, and this makes Selangor and the Klang Valley susceptible to frequent water supply disruption because of limited water sources.
“This is part of the whole ecosystem that we are planning so we can have a better environment and more reliable water supply,” he said.