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PUTRAJAYA: THE Federal Government is standing firm by its decision to go ahead with the Langat 2 treatment plant to resolve Selangor’s water crisis despite the stalemate with the state government.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui, in a text message to the New Straits Times, said this was meant for the people’s wellbeing.
“Like it or not, we will proceed with the Langat 2 treatment plant,” said Chin when contacted in Singapore. “The welfare of the people is the Federal Government’s priority.”
He said although the ministry would not push the matter for now, it had always been its priority to settle the matter as soon as possible. However, the Selangor government has yet to give the nod to build the plant.
Chin said: “I prefer that this matter be settled in an amicable manner. “It has always been my priority to discuss
this matter with the Selangor government and I hope we can work out something soon.” He said he was hoping that the Federal and Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor governments would find a solution to serve the long-term
needs of the people.
“The Selangor government must account for what we are doing, on bringing in raw water from Pahang, so that both states’ water treatment can be implemented as planned.” Water reserve levels in Selangor are reportedly below the appropriate level of 20 per cent.
"Water reserve levels are critical at the moment, and as demand grows, the water supply will keep going down."
The Langat 2 project, approved by the Federal Government for RM3.94 billion, is expected to treat 1.9 billion litres of water for Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur until 2025.
It involves the building of a 44.6km tunnel to channel water from Sungai Semantan in Pahang to Sungai Hulu Langat in Selangor through the main range.
Chin said the failure to build the plant, which had been delayed by 15 months, had been attributed to the refusal of the Selangor government to approve the development order and other approvals for the implementation of the project.
"We will face an acute water shortage if no action is taken now."
Even if Selangor gave the approval soon, Chin said, it would take five years to complete the project.
He said it was not just the plant, but also other works, such as on reticulation pipes and others that were away from the plant site.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim claimed that the low level of water reserves in the state would not be an issue if Syabas (state water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor) reduced water loss.
Responding to comments that the state's water reserve was at a critical level of 2.4 per cent of the total distribution capacity for the state, Khalid said non-revenue water (NRW) in the state was above 30 per cent.
"If you save at least 10 per cent of NRW, then the 2.4 per cent figure becomes irrelevant," said Khalid after launching the state-level World Museum Day here yesterday.
He said this in response to a statement from Selangor Barisan Nasional coordinator Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed, who claimed the state would face a water crisis given its critical level of reserves.
On Monday, Zin said the threat of a water crisis in the Klang Valley by 2014 was real if there was no effort to source raw water from outside the region.