Malaysia: Johor Baru water cut takes folk by surprise

NELSON BENJAMIN The Star 2 Aug 17;

JOHOR BARU: Intermittent water cuts since Sunday have caused a lot of problems and hardship to thousands of residents in several major housing areas here.

Among the worst hit is Taman Desa Tebrau where water supply has been completely disrupted since Sunday evening.

Other areas affected include Taman Pelangi Indah, Taman Desa Cemerlang, Kim Teng Park, Jalan Lumba Kuda, Bukit Chagar and Bandar Baru Uda.

Many of the residents claim that they were caught off guard about the cuts, with some saying that even their water tanks were now empty.

They said many shops have also run out of bottled water.

A resident known as Tan, 35, said this was the worst water cut that he had experienced since moving to Taman Desa Tebrau about 10 years ago.

“It was so sudden. I tried calling Syarikat Air Johor’s (SAJ) hotline for help but I could not get through and there is also no response to my complaints via SMS,” he said.

Another resident, known as K. Amaloo, 66, said she had to resort to buying drinking water for her use.

“When I contacted SAJ, they said that the disruption was due to ammonia contaminating our water treatment plant as well as low water pressure at the reservoir,” she said.

She hoped SAJ would restore supply as soon as possible as it was very inconvenient for the elderly to carry water to the top floor of their flats when the water tankers arrive.

Another resident known as Ahmad Hassan, 51, said the water tankers were only supplying water to flats dwellers and those living in high-rise units.

“Those in landed properties also need water. SAJ should set up portable water dispensers in every affected area,” he said.

Ahmad said he was surprised that some of the shoplots and commercial areas in Desa Tebrau had water supply.

“I sent all my laundry to the launderette near my house and it was full. Where are they getting their water supply from,” he said, adding that he too was unable to get through to the SAJ hotline.

Johor public works and regional development committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad, confirmed that the water cut since Sunday, was because high level of ammonia was found in Sungai Skudai.

“This is not the first time this has happened. I have directed SAJ to send water tankers to help those in the affected areas.

“As of yesterday morning, the water treatment plant was back in operation but it may take up to 24 hours for supply to resume,” he said, urging consumers to be patient.

Hasni said they were looking for long-term solutions to resolve the problem, including getting water supply from other sources.

For queries, contact the SAJ hotline at 1800-887-474.

Johor wants SAJ, BAKAJ to find ways to resolve water disruption issues
Rizalman Hammim New Straits Times 2 Aug 17;

JOHOR BARU: The Johor state government has asked SAJ Ranhill Sdn Bhd (SAJ) and Johor Water Regulation Body (BAKAJ) to work out the best method to shorten the period of water disruptions, especially in areas often hit by such problem.

At the same time, it also called on the relevant authorities to come up with suggestions on the best way to resolve water pollution issue.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development executive committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said SAJ and BAKAJ must understand that the people would not accept the same excuse each time there was a water disruption.

"Therefore, there is a need to find ways to shorten the period of water disruption in areas that face such problems frequently. The state government has approved allocations to ensure sufficient water supply," said Hasni in a statement.

SAJ announced that water supply in several areas in Johor Baru will be disrupted following an ammonia pollution in Sungai Skudai since July 23 that caused the supply from the Sultan Ismail water treatment plant to drop to 50 per cent.

Among the areas affected are Taman Desa Tebrau, Taman Pelangi Indah, Taman Desa Cemerlang, Stulang Laut, Kim Teng Park, Jalan Lumba Kuda, Bukit Cagar and elevated areas in Bandar Baru Uda.

SAJ said it has taken steps to quickly stabilised the water supply and several water tankers have been dispatched to the affected areas as an alternative remedial step.

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