Malaysia, Johor: Focus on water management

ZAZALI MUSA and MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 18 Nov 16;

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The state government has outlined 14 initiatives on water management to ensure the state will have sufficient water supply in the long term.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said it would allocate RM79.7mil under the state’s Budget 2017 to address issues on water related problems, including finding new sources of water and overcoming supply disruptions.

“We are committed to solve the water related problems and issues in Johor though innovative, comprehensive and radical approaches,” he said when tabling the budget at the Johor state assembly sitting in Kota Iskandar here yesterday.

Mohamed Khaled said RM65mil would be channelled to conduct raw water transfer project from Sungai Lenggor to Congok dam, both in Mersing district.

He said RM3.5mil would be used to instal a pipeline from Sungai Johor to Upper Layang dam, RM2mil for the Sungai Johor Integrated River Basin Management and RM1.8mil to conduct feasibility study on the construction of coastal reservoirs at the estuaries of Sungai Johor, Sungai Pulai and Sungai Mersing.

Others include RM1mil to build two well tubes in Kota Tinggi and to conduct a study on exploring the possibility of groundwater reserves as new water resources with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Mohamed Khaled said apart from the state-related initiatives on water management, Johor would also implement water-related initiatives with financial allocation from the Federal Government.

He said the initiatives include RM500mil allocation from the Federal Government for the Iskandar Malaysia Raw Water Channelling project, of which a RM5mil initial allocation would be utilised next year.

“Sustainable and sufficient water supply in the long term are vital to continue attracting investments into Johor which is strategically positioning itself as the southern economic powerhouse,” said Mohamed Khaled.

He said the Kahang dam project which started in May 2014 is expected to be completed next year while the RM128mil Kahang water treatment plant will be ready by 2018.

He said RM7mil has been allocated to upgrade the Congok dam.

Mohamed Khaled said the government would also extend the on-going free water programme to benefit more households under the state’s Budget 2017.

He said 2,108 new households registered under the E-Kasih and Orang Asli Development Department list would receive free 25 cubic metres of water monthly from 2,892 existing households, adding that the government would spend RM3mil on the programme.

Mohamed Khaled said the government would also allocate RM14.5mil next year, compared to RM11mil this year, to extend the free bus service Bas Muafakat Johor.

“The free bus service has benefitted about 1.34 million commuters since its introduction in April this year to October,” he said, adding that the route would also be extended from 813.8km to 1.357km.

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