Malaysia, Johor: Giving new life to river

NELSON BENJAMIN The Star 4 Apr 17;

JOHOR BARU: Work on the multi-million ringgit Sungai Segget rehabilitation and rejuvenation project is almost complete as it is now under the testing and commissioning stage.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said that while works on the surface had been completed, there was still some testing work being carried out before the project was handed over to the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB).

“So far, some RM240mil has been spent on the project including the rehabilitation and rejuvenation of the river along with the building of a 11-storey centralised sewerage treatment plant (CSTP),” he said in an interview.

The multi-million Sungai Segget Rejuvenation Project comprises an integrated water treatment plant and the development of a flood mitigation and sewerage system, followed by the river beautification project.

Dubbed as the Gem of Johor Baru City, the upgrading of Sungai Segget is part of the plan to transform the city centre into a vibrant place.

Ismail added that there were delays to the project as there were many obstacles that the team had to overcome, including some parts that were below sea level-which would naturally flood when it rained.

The team also had to deal with old utilities and even timber from an old saw mill nearby the river.

He said that pipes were placed under Sungai Segget to collect sewerage water from buildings along the river.

“This water is then pumped and treated at the CSTP before clean water is channelled back into Sungai Segget.

“I hope people will maintain the cleanliness of the area and not throw rubbish and litter the river,” he said, adding that stricter enforcement was being carried out to deter litterbugs from polluting the river.

When asked about criticism on the project, due to past incidences of flooding around the city, Ismail said IRDA would do its best to mitigate the issues.

On other matters, he added that, “So far, Iskandar Malaysia was growing steadily despite the uncertainties globally.”

He added that Iskandar Malaysia was growing much higher than the national average of 4.5% to 5% annually.

He added that they were still looking into improving connectivity within the region including the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Rapid Transit System (RTS), High Speed Rail and more flights at Senai International Airport.

On the RTS, he said that they had narrowed the options from 19 possible crossings into Johor Baru to two or three options.

“On whether it will be a tunnel or high bridge, the leaders from both Malaysia and Singapore will decide on it before making an announcement,” he added.

Irda: At least one year for polluted Sg Segget to recover
Rizalman Hammim New Straits Times 12 Apr 17;

JOHOR BARU: The completion of the combined sewerage treatment plant (CSTP) here is expected to help improve the water quality of Sungai Segget but it could take up to a year before the target of improving the water quality to Class IIB is achieved.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) head of projects and programme management Mohd Zam Mustaman said at the moment, Sungai Segget is considered as the second most polluted river in Malaysia and is classified as Class IV.

"Previously, all the affluent from houses or businesses flows directly to the river, which is why it became so polluted. With the completion of the CSTP, we would process the affluent before releasing it into the river.

"Our target is to improve Sungai Segget's water quality to Class IIB, which means that it would be safe if consumed by human and aquatic life would thrive. However, this would take time, a minimum of six month, maybe up to a year," said Mohd Zam.

He said the public should also play their part by abandoning their habit of throwing rubbish into the river.

Mohd Zam was speaking to the media after a familiarisation tour of the plant yesterday.

The CSTP, which was built at a cost of RM120 million, is part of the Sungai Segget rehabilitation project. It began operation in January and have a maximum operating capacity of over 33,000 cubic metre a day.

The plant not only processes sewage but also river water from Sungai Segget's upstream before releasing it downstream.

Mohd Zam said the plant caters to a population of about 150,000 around the Johor Baru city centre.

"At the moment, the plant is operating at about 10 per cent of its capacity. It will operate at 100 per cent capacity once all the various developments in the city centre are completed."

He also said that depending on the future development and population growth in the city, it is likely that another treatment plant would be needed in order to meet an increased demand for sewage treatment.

"We have already set the model and standard that can be use. Any plans for the building of another plant would also depend on the allocation that Irda would receive," said Mohd Zam.

The CSTP would eventually be operated by the Johor Baru City Council.