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Thursday, June 14, 2007

KL Floods - This is How to Spend the RM100m Budget

It is good that the Cabinet has allocated an extra RM100million for the prevention of floods in KL.

However I feel that the money should have been allocated to the most important cause of the flooding right in the centre of town. Pardon me while I rant and rave at the idiocy and stupidity of all the reasons being given but the flooding in KL can be directly attributed to the construction of the LRT Station right inside the river reserve space so that the Klang River cannot flow at its original capacity.

I believe the capacity has been reduced by at least 30% as the LRT station is at least 3 meters below the top of the bund. Now this is the at the widest part(at the top)and hence the flow restriction could be larger than 30%.

Building retention ponds and installing more pump houses can help somewhat but it means we are installing more equipment that requires regular maintenance(now that is a taboo phrase for most Malaysian authorities)

So how should the money be spent?
That offending LRT station has to be raised to clear the river bund and the estimated cost for this is RM20million (one time cost, excluding any land cost).
I would not install any more pumps or build retention ponds unless these are already ponding areas.
These areas will be gazetted as drainage reserves for at least 50 years and no one allowed to build here including squatters. The areas will be well maintained and allowed to be used as public recreation areas but with no permanent structures except for toilets. Perhaps RM5m will be used for these minor projects.

Perhaps another RM1m will be used to provide free shuttle service to connect commuters affected during the one-month closure of the LRT Station at Masjid Jamek pending the reconstruction.

The balance of the RM100m ie RM74m will be used to reallocate squatters along the river banks and creating a 50meter clear zone on both banks of the river so that dumping activities can be closely monitored.

Malaysians are sometimes too gentle and unassertive. In most countries those traders affected by the overflow at Masjid Jamek would have marched to DBKL and demanded the demolition of that LRT Station.

I estimate the station can be completed within 3 months. Modular design in one complete section or two halves. Only rails have to be properly aligned.
Actual site disruption perhaps two weeks based on working 24 hours.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.lowermerion.org/planning/osp/ospimages/indiancreek.jpg We really need more spaces like this in KL.

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