Dudong rep believes dredging Sungai Seduan key to preventing floods

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

KUCHING: Dudong assemblyman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing believes that if Sungai Seduan in Sibu is widened and dug deeper, it could alleviate the problem of inefficient drainage to a certain extent, saving many housing areas from being consistently flooded after only one to two hours of rainfall.

He said he had urged the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to formulate a plan for this action as soon as possible, including coming up with the required costs and locations to dredge the riverbed.

In a Facebook post on Friday (Jan 28), he said the Sibu Flash Flood Committee meeting had been held, attended by several relevant departments, with the aim of discussing achievable long-term and short-term flood mitigation plans for the various flood hotspots in Sibu, especially in hardest-hit Dudong.

“I raised the point that Sungai Rajang, Sungai Igan, or Sungai Seduan have all experienced heavy siltation. Sungai Seduan is especially clogged with soil and weeds, preventing any river water flow at all.

“Therefore, I suggested that the authorities must widen this river by 15 metres and deepen it by 1.5 metres so that the river water could be efficiently diverted to Sungai Merah and then discharged to Sungai Igan,” said the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president.

He said a RM25mil fund allocated by DID should be used to upgrade the flood mitigation system in Kampung Usaha Jaya, including upgrading all mud ditches to concrete drains and monsoon drains.

Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, added that the designs of these drains must conform to the terrain so that water may flow from higher to lower levels and be smoothly discharged to Sungai Seduan.

“As for efforts to elevate roads, they should be under the purview of the municipal council, village council, or Public Works Department (JKR) in their respective jurisdictions.

“I also do not agree with a proposal to continue building more pumping stations. The long-term operation of pumping stations will lead to ever higher maintenance costs that do not solve the main problem of inefficient flood drainage.”

He said as JKR had identified six major roads which are constantly flooded and need to be elevated, including Jalan Sungai Assan, Jalan Pulau Dudong, Jalan Salim New Airport, Jalan Kanowit Penyulau, and Jalan Kong Yit Khim, the department must submit proposals for these works.

“For the long-term and short-term implementation methods, I will be discussing with the state leaders to prioritise these projects to get government assistance for immediate implementation.”

He said all departments present at the meeting were required to submit their respective proposals by Feb 14 with another meeting to be held after Chinese New Year.

“The hydraulic survey for Sungai Rajang and Sungai Igan in particular must be completed as soon as possible.

“Once the survey report is completed, I will be inspecting the Igan by boat with the officers from the related departments after the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting is over to get a clearer picture of the river’s condition.”

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