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Monday, June 11, 2007

Class Action Suit Against DBKL?

All it takes is a few hours of rain in the Klang Valley and we create damage worth millions to property, vehicles and also engangering the health of thousands who are stressed out by the frequent flooding.

The RM1.8billion SMART tunnel was touted to be the "Final Solution" to KL's flooding but now it seems that many of the retention ponds have not been completed.

The mind boggles at what our planners and executives are doing. I would have thought retention ponds are much easier to contruct than that showpiece tunnel project - maybe very little glamour?

I lived in KL from 1967 to 1988 and during those years I can recall that flooding near Masjid Jamek occurred perhaps two or three times and the disruption lasted perhaps one or two hours.

I suspect the main reason for the frequent flooding near this section of the river is that DBKL allowed the LRT station to be constructed inside the reserve of the river itself.

I am sure any primary student will be able to explain to the authorities that such a mistake will only cause the river to overflow at this point where the entire depth of the river has been reduced by about 3 meters. Compared to the original flow capacity of the river, I guess the capacity has been reduced by at least 30%.

I recommend KL readers to take a photo of the LRT station and the river and send to the newspapers or to my blog so that we can highlight this basic problem.

I estimate it will cost less than RM15million to raise the level of the station and return the river to its original capacity. There will be some travel disruption but the whole station can be built with a modular design so that final assembly time can be minimised. If tracks have to be raised, a shuttle bus service can operate between the nearest stations. The total time of disruption should be limited to 2 weeks working on a 24-hour basis. Obviously this will not be a crony project.

If I can think of a conspiracy theory, it appears that the SMART tunnel gained fast approval after this problem was "created."

Photo: Thanks to the Star

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