OVER 207 tonnes of rubbish were collected from Sungai Skudai in the first nine months of the year, says Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.
He said 97 tonnes of rubbish were collected from Sungai Tebrau in the same period, prompting Johor government to allocate RM2.4mil from next year’s state budget for the Clean Rivers Programme.
“The Drainage and Irrigation Department, along with local councils and related agencies, will use the funds to maintain the cleanliness of major rivers in the state, in support of the ongoing Johor Bersih campaign.”
He said RM4mil had been allocated for the construction and upgrading of rubbish traps at Sungai Skudai, as part of a special area plan.
“This involves three councils, namely Johor Baru City Council, Iskandar Puteri City Council and Kulai Municipal Council,” he said when tabling the state budget for next year at the Johor state assembly sitting in Kota Iskandar, Iskandar Puteri.
He also said RM2mil would be spent to build bicycle and pedestrian tracks near Sungai Skudai.
The Mentri Besar also announced an allocation of RM18.9mil for the improvement of flood management and drainage systems, besides RM3.4mil to upgrade the main ditches in Taman Damai Jaya, Skudai.
To mitigate flood impact, he said RM500,000 worth of maintenance works would be carried out at locations such as Sungai Taman Johor and Sungai Taman Anggerik.
Other projects include river basin conservation and flood preparedness programmes costing RM8.3mil; building a retaining wall at Sungai Melana at a cost of RM2.3mil; and a RM4.5mil project to build and upgrade drains in Pasir Gudang, he added.
“We will also study the application of the ‘sponge city’ concept to manage the city’s water,” said Onn Hafiz.
Sponge cities are urban areas with abundant natural features like trees, lakes and parks to absorb rain and prevent flooding.