*Check out more photos from The Star
It is a common sight for KL after a heavy downpour, places around the city centre will be flooded. In fact, floods have been happening all these years, but due to the recent rapid development, it much more common nowadays. Whenever there is a flash flood, it causes disruption and destruction too. Business owners that are hit by floods suffered the most, and most of the time, there will be a tremendous amount of damages and loss.
The recent events of floods has really made everyone angry. The public, business owners, and now even the PM was not happy about it. He was unhappy with the city’s inadequate flood control measures. (Checkout comments from some affected people at MalaysiaKini)
(The Star) Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has now asked for all projects to prevent floods in the federal capital, especially the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel or SMART Project, to be speeded up.
The RM1.9bil project, if it had been in place, would have prevented Sungai Klang bursting its banks at the Masjid Jamek area on Sunday night.
Although SMART's road tunnel portion has been opened to traffic, its flood diversion component will only be operational next month, when 200 dams and retention ponds, now being built, are ready.
So the question now is whether SMART project is the best solution for the current problem. According to Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), it is:
(The Star) Had it been ready, the RM1.9bil Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel Project (SMART) would have prevented Sunday’s floods that inundated the city centre.
Drainage and Irrigation Department deputy director Ahmad Fuad said the floods around Dataran Merdeka and Masid Jamek were caused by Sungai Kelang bursting its banks at the confluence of Sungai Gombak.
“A storm which causes the river to overflow – that is exactly what the SMART flood tunnel is being built to overcome,” he said at a press conference organised by Kuala Lumpur City Hall here yesterday.
But there is also this report, SMART tunnel only designed for storm floods, not flash floods.
According to Fuad, the floods that occurred on Sunday were flash floods caused by inadequate and/or clogged drainage and were not storm floods caused by overflowing river waters.
“These also occurred in areas like Salak South, Cheras, Jalan Duta, Jalan Semantan, and even Bangsar which are not within the Sungai Klang and Sungai Ampang confluence. We would like to highlight to the public again that the SMART flood tunnel is not designed to handle and prevent all floods,” Fuad said.
“It will not be able to handle flash floods and areas outside of the Sungai Klang and Sungai Ampang confluence. The SMART flood tunnel is specifically designed and built to handle storm floodwaters in the city centre at the Sungai Klang and Sungai Ampang confluence,” he said.
So how effective is the RM1.93 billion Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (Smart) project to alleviate the current flood problems? Only time will tell whether SMART project is the best solution for KL's flood problem. However, one thing for sure, it is time for all Malaysians to learn more about taking good care of the environment. Previous campaign such as "Cintai Sungai Kita" should be reactivated again. Rivers around Malaysia especially rivers around city center are highly polluted and clogged with rubbish.
tags : flood kuala lumpur smart tunnel malaysia malaysiakini