ALOR SETAR: The Alor Setar City Council is carrying out cleaning work at the irrigation canal in Taman Pelangi which has been treated like an “open sewer” for years.
An excavator was seen digging out waste along the 1.2km stretch of the canal, which has been “adopted” by the city council.
Kota Darul Aman assemblyman Teh Swee Leong said the cleaning work was scheduled for completion within a week.
He said the state Drainage and Irrigation Department would manage the canal once it is cleaned up.
“The issue of dirty rivers and irrigation canals was brought up during a recent state executive council meeting.
“The Mentri Besar (Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir) paid serious attention to the matter.
“He has directed all related departments to ‘adopt’ the rivers and canals and hold discussions on how to resolve the problem.
“Cleaning work began after the mayor visited the canal with representatives from SWCorp, the council’s Engineering Department and Landscape Department on July 8,” said Teh during a site inspection with several city councillors on Saturday.
Last month, The Star reported that the canal was being treated like an open sewer – to the frustration of nearby residents.
The canal was clogged with all kinds of rubbish, such as plastic bottles, polystyrene boxes and even animal carcasses.
For the past three years, some 200 people living nearby have had to put up with the unbearable stench.
It was reported that there were several confirmed dengue cases, as plastic bottles had become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.Resident Wong Teik Wah, 54, said he was grateful to Teh for helping the residents to solve the problem.