POLITICS: Selangor MB’s opposition to treatment plant deemed impractical
KUALA LUMPUR: SELANGOR Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has come under fire again on his stand to oppose the construction of the Sungai Langat 2 water treatment plant which might cause a water crisis in 2014, this time from the Malaysian Water Association.
Its president, Ahmad Zahdi Jamil, said Khalid was being impractical and his layman views were not based on research and went against the opinion of water experts.
"It is unbecoming of him to oppose the project without taking into consideration experts' views and data on Selangor's water situation. It seems like he's politicising the water issue rather than addressing it. Besides, he does not have the expertise to do so," said Zahdi.
Condemning Khalid's suggestion to use ground water and water from mining ponds, Zahdi said treating water from mining ponds was not a viable option because it would be costly and inadequate in quantity.
"Over extraction will result in damage to structural foundations of the ponds," he said, adding that mining ponds were more suitable for flood mitigation.
Zahdi said although groundwater usage was viable, it had to be regulated so that it would not create other problems.
The Langat 2 plant project, which has been put on hold, is part of the Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer Project that involves the construction of a 44.6km tunnel through the Titiwangsa Range to channel water from Sungai Semantan in Pahang to Sungai Hulu Langat in Selangor.
He also said it was not feasible to link pipes from dams in Peninsular Malaysia as the cost would be higher.
"They fail to consider land acquisitions, road crossings, road reinstatement works, especially when the pipelines will have to be laid across built-up areas. This costs money and inconvenience."
In Shah Alam, Khalid, who attended the the Selangor Water Forum 2012 yesterday, was confident that the water crisis could be prevented, despite the population growth and increasing demand for water, if the water services industry was well managed.
"Within a year, we can take several measures to prevent any water shortage," he said after closing the one-day forum at the Shah Alam Convention Centre here.