KUANTAN: The Federal government has allocated RM5mil under the 9th Malaysia Plan to beautify and clean up Sungai Galing here, Teruntum assemblyman Chang Hong Seong said.
Chang said of the amount, RM3.5mil had been used up by the state Department of Drainage and Irrigation to improve the quality of water in the river.
“Residents staying within the vicinity of the river should be proud as Sungai Galing is the only river in Pahang selected under the ‘one river, one state’ programme.
“I was told that the rehabilitation programme since 2006 has shown positive results with the level of pollution going from level 4 to level 3,” he said after attending a river awareness programme here on Saturday.
Also present were special assistant to the Mentri Besar Datuk Ti Lian Ker and state department director Zulkefli Hassan.
Later, the crowd hurled mud balls into the river as part of the efforts to clean up the river.
Chang said co-operation from all parties was needed to protect the river from further pollution.
He urged the people to refrain from dumping rubbish or other wastes indiscriminately so that the public could enjoy the new facilities built near the river including a landscape garden.
“The seven river starts from the Semambu low cost flats to Tanjung Api,” he said, adding the department had submitted a proposal seeking more allocations under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) to upgrade the entire stretch. Among others, the vicinity of the river on both sides has at least 50 factories, 28 sewage ponds, five hotels and resorts, 36 clinics, 34 schools and 36 car workshops.
Chang said it was the responsibility of all parties to look after the river together and ensure it was sustainable for the benefit of future generations.
Zulkefli said the department had set a target to further upgrade the river to level 2 by 2012, with allocations provided under the 10MP.
”We hope the proposal will receive the green light from the Federal government so the public can bathe and swim in the river,” he said.
Zulkefli said the department was also mulling over a proposal to launch a river awareness campaign monthly to educate the public to love and clean up all rivers in the state.
He said the younger generations must be taught on the importance of preserving our rivers and the repercussion of pollutions.
He said there would be activities such as lucky draws, exhibitions, singing competitions and health checks conducted at the selected sites.
Rivers in the country are categorised under five levels.
Leve1 indicates that the river was very clean and safe for consumption while the water needed to be filtered before consumption under Level 2, which was still classified as clean.
Level 3 shows that the river quality was average whereas Level 4 was deemed polluted but could be used for vegetation purposes.
Level 5 means the water is very polluted and not suitable for any life form.