Businesses want decade-old flash flood issue in Kepong addressed


By CY LEE

Drainage outlet that channels water onto Jalan 12/32b. — AINA AMIRAH/The Star

For more than 10 years, business owners at TSI Business & Industrial Park in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, have had to deal with flash floods.

Earlier this month, a round of flash floods saw owners and workers scrambling to prevent water entering their premises.

“It was like rescuing a sinking ship,” said biscuit shop owner Lisa Wong.

“The water came up to just below our knees and entered from the front and rear of our lots along Jalan 12/32b.

“We have been here for over 20 years, and it has just been getting worse.

“Each time it rains, we worry we have to rush back and save our goods,” she said.

She added that in the past six months, there had been over 10 flash flooding incidents.

Wong said that even after spending some RM30,000 over the years to raise the front entrance, build a small bund at the rear and erect platforms in the warehouse to put inventory on higher ground, the floods were unpredictable and could still cause damage.

“If not for reimbursement from insurance companies, we would have lost well over RM10,000 in damaged goods.

“There is also the hassle we have to put up with when making a claim,” she added.

Local community activist Yee Poh Ping claimed that the problem had become worse because of overdevelopment in neighbouring areas like Segambut.

“The entire industrial area was designed for a different era and could not have taken into account the current landscape of the area,” he said.

Yee said the drainage system was also outdated and clogged up easily.

“Some drains contain stagnant water and simply cannot cope with the flow during a downpour.

“Additionally, a nearby warehouse has created a drainage outlet which channels even more water onto Jalan 12/32b instead of an existing drain that leads to Sungai Keroh,” he added.

Yee said he had raised the matter with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)’s Engineering and Building Control Department to come up with a long-term solution for the area.

“One thing that should be done is to deepen and widen drains in the area.

“For now, Alam Flora should assist business owners here by clearing clogged drains.

“This is crucial as the drains are not able to cope during a downpour,” he said.

DBKL had yet to respond at press time.

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