THE perennial flood problems at Jalan P. Ramlee will be much reduced when the whole project to upgrade the drainage system and raise the road level is completed in August this year.
State Local Government, Housing, Town and County Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the Penang government wants to find a solution once and for all to tackle the flood problems there.
“For years, Jalan P. Ramlee is famous for its floods. This is a low-lying area in the whole of Datuk Keramat and the hardest hit during rainy spells.
“As a caring government, we need to solve this problem. And the state and federal agencies have been working together on this,” Jagdeep told reporters today.
He was inspecting the site in front of Sekolah Menengah Abdullah Munshi together with Jelutong MP R.S.N. Rayer, Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim, Batu Lancang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Engineering Department director A. Rajendran, state Irrigation and Drainage Department senior deputy director G. Yogendran and district engineer Zamri Uzni.
Jagdeep said the project, which started in August last year and would take 12 months to complete, cost MBPP a total of RM3.62 million.
Thus far, the upgrading of the drainage system has been completed while the road level raising work on a 500m stretch from the school till the Jalan P. Ramlee-Perak Road traffic lights is ongoing. The whole project to help mitigate the flash floods is 55 percent complete.
According to Rajendran, the old ditch with a width of 0.6m to 0.9m has been widened to 1.5m and 2.1m to drain water from Jalan P. Ramlee to Sungai Jelutong with the help of two pump house units.
He added that the road level of Jalan P. Ramlee would also be raised to an average of 0.5m than the existing level starting from the junction of Jalan Ismail Cik Matt to the junction of Jalan Perak.
Jagdeep said besides the low-lying area, they know the source of the problem comes from Sungai Pinang.
“We hope the weather will be kind to us. As humans, we can do our part. As elected representatives, we will do what we can. We hope and pray that we will not see the floods like before,” said Jagdeep, adding that the waters reached almost his chest during the big floods in November 2017.
Jagdeep said the tender for the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation project, which costs RM600 million, was expected to be called during the third quarter of this year.
The Federal Government has approved RM150 million for the project. Physical work on the project is expected to start next year and its first phase is expected to be completed in four years.
Rayer, Lim and Ong also hoped that the state and federal agencies would take quick measures to mitigate the flood problems in the surrounding areas such as Jalan Van Praagh, Kampong Pokok Asam and Jalan Madrasah.
Ong said he was delighted to learn that DID would instal two underground storage tanks at a recreation centre in Van Praagh this year. The area was hit by flash floods as recently as April 22.
On another matter, Jagdeep said the 3,332 Covid-19 cases recorded nationwide and the devastating surge of cases in India yesterday were worrying.
He urged Penangites to maintain their discipline in observing the standard operating procedures and not let their guard down.
“We must continue to wage the war against Covid-19. We must win this war. It is our No One enemy,” he said.
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Law Suun Ting