Malaysia, Johor: Retention ponds to be maintained to mitigate floods

NELSON BENJAMIN The Star 2 Jun 17;

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) plans to carry out maintenance work in more than 100 retention ponds under its care, to help mitigate flash floods during downpours.

MBJB engineering department director Sulaiman Mohamad Taib said the ponds were usually covered with silt, rubbish and sand, which hampered their effectiveness during heavy rain.

He said Wednesday’s downpour caused flash floods in five areas including Jalan Maldrun, Jalan Rosmerah Utama, Jalan Bakawali in Taman Johor Jaya, Jalan Serampang in Taman Pelangi and Mount Austin.

“Flood waters rose to between 0.5m and 1m. However, it lasted for only 30 minutes but caused damage to vehicles,” he said during a visit to view two retention ponds in Taman Desa Tebrau, yesterday.

He added that MBJB allocated RM15mil annually to improve and maintain drainage within its jurisdiction.

Each retention pond is between 929 sq m to 40,000 sq m.

Meanwhile, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin’s special aide for Chinese community affairs Tan Cher Puk said that Wednesday’s downpour caused huge losses for shops located along Jalan Rosmerah Utama.

“Losses are estimated to be more than RM100,000 in the flash floods that took place between 6.45pm and 7.10pm,” he said, adding that the Pasir Gudang MCA office was also affected with losses of more than RM10,000.

Tan was thankful there were no deaths or injuries as two people were trapped in their cars due to the rising flood waters, and strong currents that tossed vehicles around.

He added that the flood problem in Johor Jaya had been mitigated by building larger culverts under the Pasir Gudang highway in 2012.

“However, these culverts have become clogged with rubbish that need to be cleared,” he said.

Tan added that another reason for the Johor Jaya flash floods was due to problems with the two retention ponds in Taman Desa Tebrau, which were not functioning due to siltation, plants and sand.

“I thank MBJB for its prompt action and I am told it will spend RM50,000 for mitigation works,” said Tan.

Also present was MBJB councillor Tan Tuan Peng and other government officials.

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