ALOR SETAR: Kedah plans to build a RM650mil dam and a 23km canal as a long-term measure to overcome water shortages in the Rice Bowl state.
The RM650mil reservoir, to be named Nauk Dam, straddles Pendang and Sik districts and will be the state’s fifth dam.
The canal, dubbed Jeniang Transfer which will form the main artery for water out of Beris Dam, connects with other waterways and could add to Penang’s water woes when it becomes a physical reality.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said water from Beris Dam flows directly to Penang “but would be diverted through the canal for use in the state”.
“Kedah needs a new dam. The four major dams – Ahning, Beris, Muda, and Pedu – in the state are not enough and the new dam project is estimated to cost about RM650mil.
“The projects are on the drawing board and we would like to proceed with them immediately.
“The Economic Planning Unit is now discussing the dam and canal projects with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry and relevant agencies.
“However, the state needs the cooperation and financial support from the Federal Government for the projects. It is a massive undertaking,” he told a press conference after the third sitting of the third term of the 13th State Legislative Assembly Meeting held at Wisma Darul Aman here yesterday.
Bashah said the Kedah e-Tutor, an online education portal launched by his predecessor Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir in 2015, had been suspended due to cost factors.
The RM18mil initiative by the state government was for the benefit of Year Four to Form Five students in the state.
Under the project, students in the state had free access to 80 different subjects on the e-Tutor portal.
Bashah said the state government would look at other ways to help students with their studies.
Earlier when winding up the emergency motion tabled by Ahmad Saad @ Yahya (PAS-Alor Mengkudu) on water supply in the state, Ahmad Bashah (BN-Bakar Bata) said “the state is proposing to turn sand mining sites to store water to ensure sufficient supply of water”.