GEORGE TOWN: If all goes according to plan, the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation project will begin construction early next year.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has given the assurance that RM150mil had been set aside for the project, says Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo.
“The only issue is that an open tender will be carried out to replace the current contractor, as the contractor was hired by way of direct negotiation which is not in line with the Pakatan Harapan policy.
“In order to get a proper contractor on board to ensure the work is carried out well, they want to go by way of an open tender.
“Lim said based on the timeline, he is hopeful that by early next year the physical work can start.
“I have no problem with awarding the project via open tender, as long as the project is revived,” Jagdeep told a press conference at Komtar yesterday.
Jagdeep said there were a few phases of the project left, which would cost about RM600mil in total.
“It could even cost more as this estimate was made years ago.
“The RM600mil is divided into two phases, each costing around RM300mil.
“The first and most important phase would be the widening and deepening of the river and the building of a barrage to prevent backflow of water from the sea.
“The second phase would be improving the water quality, but this is secondary,” he said.
Jagdeep said the widening and deepening of the river and the building of the barrage would start simultaneously and take about 12 to 18 months to complete.
“The RM150mil is to kick-start the project. If the need arises for more funding later, the ministry will have to top up the amount.
“The original work on the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Project ended in 1999. It has been 20 years.
“The RM150mil allocation was originally announced in 2016 by former Natural Resources and Environment minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar but it never took off, ” he said.
Meanwhile, the big clean-up of Penang kicked off with 100 local council staff starting work at 5.30am at 14 locations which were hit by flash floods in Penang following a four-hour downpour.
At 8.30pm on Monday, they were still cleaning the remnants of the mud at SMK Abdullah Munshi in Jalan P. Ramlee. .
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