Rep wants flash floods issue resolved fast

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KUCHING: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing wants the design plan for the main drain at Jalan Sibiyu, Bintulu to be expedited so that flash floods occurring in the surrounding areas could be addressed.

This was among the numerous issues he raised during his meeting with Bintulu Development Authority (BDA), Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), and Land and Survey Department (JTS) on Friday (Oct 22), following the recent flash floods caused by continuous downpours in areas including Desa Damai, Kampung Kemunting, Jalan Kampung Baru, among others.

“This main drain must be upgraded and expanded to carry more rainwater because the waterways in the Desa Damai residential area were previously designed to receive water channelled from different residential areas.

“When there is a sudden increase in rainfall, this will cause problems with the waterways and the water level will rise quickly affecting the houses,” he said in a Facebook post.

Acknowledging that the drainage system in this area had been upgraded gradually, he nevertheless called for the upgrade plans to be completed as soon as possible.

He also noted that drainage flow was slow or obstructed in some areas due to nearby construction works, and thus urged the contractors to ensure that nearby drains and residents were not affected during the construction period.

In addition, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president said Kampung Kemunting, which is located close to the river and in a low-lying area, was no longer suitable for habitation due to safety factors.

“This is especially as the land in this area is low-lying, so BDA is also planning a resettlement scheme,” he said.

Tiong said he had followed up with BDA to expedite the construction of 3,000 housing units under a rent-to-own (RTO) scheme to resolve illegal squatting on both sides of Sungai Sibiyu.

“JTS is also urged to complete an in-depth study and identify native customary rights (NCR) land and ‘tanah temuda’ as soon as possible,” he said, emphasising that only by carrying out resettlement could more land disputes be avoided.

“Therefore, JTS has to compile the relevant data and funds required to complete the resettlement plan of the locals as soon as possible, so that the relevant parties can carry out in-depth works and upgrade Sungai Sibiyu soon,” he said. 

He also requested the authorities to ensure that design plans by developers do not affect the local flood mitigation system.

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