Tiong has the answer to Sibu water woes

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KUCHING: Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing thinks he has a solution to the water supply woes faced by Sibu Jaya resident.

The Dudong assemblyman is suggesting that one of the 600mm pipes from the Sibu Jaya/Kanowit Phase 2 project be directly connected to ensure consistent water supply in the Sibu Jaya area which has been plagued by water supply issues for over five years.

“There is no need to connect to Kanowit in order to avoid the hazards of insufficient water pressure.

“As for the water supply system in Kanowit, it should be further improved to ensure uninterrupted supply for the residents there,” he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jan 18).

He said he had suggested this in a meeting with Sibu Water Board (SWB) and several consultants from Kuching on Tuesday to discuss Sibu’s long-term water supply plan.

Tiong stressed that besides reducing the maintenance costs in the future, it was also necessary for the authorities to plan for the increase in the current population of 40,000 in Sibu Jaya after the completion of the housing project.

“There is a danger that the water pipes would not be large enough to cater to high future demand and would need to be reconstructed and reinstalled.

“This is what we are currently seeing in Sibu with messy pipe systems. Some pipes are even installed in the drains in a way that not only waste funds but also block  future widening of the road,” said Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP.

Therefore, he said the authorities needed to estimate the costs of these projects immediately so that the government could formulate long-term plans to gradually solve the unstable water supply problems.

He said the originally proposed Phase 3 of the Salim Water Treatment Plant was also expected to increase from the original 150 million litres per day (MLD) per day to 300 MLD in 2025.

“However, the authorities expect to take a year to observe to determine the viability of the design.

“I hope the engineers are able to speed up the project and provide treated water to cater for Sibu’s future development. We have to prepare for foreign investors interested in setting up factories in the future by ensuring that there is sufficient water and electricity supply,” he said.

Tiong stressed that the relevant units must work together to design a solid and sustainable water supply system with long-term planning and avoid challenges of maintenance and upgrades in the future.

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