DBKL, Irrigation Dept to build underground water storage tunnel to overcome flash floods

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will cooperate with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to build a high-capacity groundwater storage tunnel to overcome the issue of flash floods in the nation's capital.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim said this was one of the long-term solutions that will take about three to five years to be completed.

He said that, as such, DBKL will carry out a feasibility study on the location and specification of the groundwater storage tunnel that will be completed within three months.

"Its function is to hold flood water before releasing it into the river during low tide. Most major cities worldwide, including in Tokyo and Itabashi in Japan, have built it (the tunnel) under their roads.

"However, what we have found is that our roads are narrow. So, some have suggested that we build it 120 feet below the river," he said at a media conference on "Towards A Flash Flood-Free Kuala Lumpur" here today.

Shahidan said DBKL would appoint a consultant soon regarding the matter after holding talks with the DID.

He also said that DBKL would also build flood walls immediately in all areas where rivers are likely to overflow.

He explained that the main cause of flash floods in the capital was rivers overflowing, resulting in the drainage system being unable to channel the water smoothly into rivers.

"We will also carry out works to desilt the reservoirs and rivers to maximise their usage capacity.

"For now, we have put sandbags in areas affected by river overflows, besides placing mobile water pumps as a temporary measure to overcome this problem," he said.

Meanwhile, Shahidan, who had the opportunity to attend the 27th International Conference on The Future of Asia in Tokyo, Japan from May 23-27 with Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah, said:

"Our purpose in going there was to see how Japan, especially in Tokyo and Itabashi, overcame floods and flash floods that frequently occurred previously.

"As a result, we found that its plans included upgrading the rivers and building underground tunnels."

He also called on the people to cooperate as best possible by, among others, not littering in public, especially in the drainage system.

"We also welcome city folk to provide feedback and suggestions to DBKL because our aim is to fully resolve this problem," he said. -- BERNAMA

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