PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Government is making another major attempt to find a solution to the long-drawn problem of depleting water reserves in Selangor.
It has targeted three months from now to come up with the solution centring on the Langat 2 water treatment project.
The special Cabinet committee to look into Selangor’s water woes, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, will brief the Cabinet on its recommendations soon.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the recommendations would be in accordance with the Water Services Industry Act 2006 and that Selangor’s attempt to take over water concession in the state must be based on the “willing buyer, willing seller” concept.
“I believe that the federal and state governments can solve this together for the good of the rakyat without having to resort to any legal action,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
“Our recommendation is that Langat 2 must go on but we must reach a consensus on the restructuring exercise based on negotiation and compromise.
“I cannot disclose the specifics (or any) more than that but (we will use) these as our guide.”
The depleting water reserves in Selangor had pushed the Federal Government to call for the construction of the water treatment plant, which has been reported to be able to treat some 1.89 billion litres of raw water.
The supply of water is expected to cater to demands in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya until 2025.
Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim admitted recently the need for the water treatment plant but stressed that the state wanted to take over water concession on its own terms.
Abdul Khalid has proposed that all water assets in the state, including the Langat 2 water treatment plant, come under the state investment arm Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd.
KDEB has made an offer to buy all the existing water assets in the state but Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, the major shareholder of water concessionaire Syabas, has yet to accept the offer.
Ongkili said both consumers and investors had been impacted by the delay in the construction of Langat 2.
“Overall, 710 (investment) projects have been postponed based on the advice of SPAN (the National Water Services Commission).
“We don’t want investors to start on a project but be unable to continue it because we could not guarantee them water.
“It is not darurat (an emergency) but it (the depleting water reserves) is at a worrying stage,” Ongkili said.
Syabas has predicted that Selangor will experience the “big dry” in 2014 if the problem of depleting reserves is not solved.
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