Zahid initiates ‘quick win’ solution for flood-hit Batu Pahat

BATU PAHAT: A total of RM7mil has been allocated to resolve the issue of floods, including stagnant floods, in this district, says National Disaster Committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The allocation, described by the Deputy Prime Minister as a “quick win” solution, would be channelled by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) through the the Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) as the implementing agency. He added that the money will be used to clear clogged drains and buy water pumps.

“The floods in Batu Pahat were caused by a ‘bottleneck’ in the drainage system, which do not have culverts to allow excess water to flow to low-lying areas. This has caused a stagnant water situation in the river in addition to high tides.

“In this situation, the ‘quick win’ measures involve deepening trenches and clearing blockage caused by trash and mud.

“The DID has suggested using pumps to drain excess water,” he said after visiting the flood relief centre at Dewan Orang Ramai Sri Medan here yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid said long-term projects like flood mitigation programmes worth RM50mil in this district would be included in the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“While the figure is not as large as the mitigation programme for Mersing which costs approximately RM2.3bil, we cannot treat the issue in Batu Pahat lightly,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said eight schools in Johor will have a permanent relief centre to house flood victims during the monsoon season. He added that the initiative is part of the smart partnership between Nadma and the schools.

Ahmad Zahid also announced that the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) director-general has been directed to form a APM regiment at all of the country’s parliamentary constituencies.

Each regiment will have between 300 and 1,000 personnel, he added.

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