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Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar (2nd-left) and Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar (2nd-right) witness the MoU signing between Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (Satu) chief executive officer, Atemin Sulong (right) and chief executive officer, Narendran Maniam during the ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. -NSTP/Mohd Yusni Ariffin
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar (2nd-left) and Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar (2nd-right) witness the MoU signing between Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (Satu) chief executive officer, Atemin Sulong (right) and chief executive officer, Narendran Maniam during the ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. -NSTP/Mohd Yusni Ariffin

KUALA LUMPUR: Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK), owned by Ministry of Finance Incorporated, and Terengganu state-owned Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (Satu) today inked an agreement for a joint-billing system involving water supply and sewage treatment in the east coast state.

The joint-billing system, which comes into effect on Jan 1, involves 20,661 customer accounts for premises or seven per cent of accounts with connected sewage services.

An agreement on the joint-billing system was signed by IWK and Satu, here, today.

IWK was represented by its chief executive officer, Narendran Maniam, and Satu by its chief executive officer, Atemin Sulong.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.

Xavier said Terengganu was the first state to support the integrated billing initiative.

“This will provide convenience to them (customers) as they only need to call the water operator (Satu) for both services,” he said.

Xavier is hopeful that more states will follow suit on the joint-billing exercise.

Xavier said the Labuan Water Supply Department and IWK in Labuan had carried out the first joint-billing exercise inMarch 2016, and the bill collection for IWK up to September this year had reached 91.6 per cent.

At a press conference later, Xavier announced improvements in Terengganu’s sewage system, in line with the Federal Government’s plans to upgrade sewage systems nationwide under the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12).

“We plan to build a centralised sewage treatment plant in Kuala Terengganu, and its surrounding areas, among others,” he said.

Xavier said the centralised sewage treatment system was part and parcel of the ministry’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“The government is spending billions to upgrade all sewage treatment systems in the country,” he said, adding that the budget under his ministry for the centralised sewage system industry was RM 1.4 billion.

“To eradicate pollution, the only way to do it is by having a centralised sewage treatment system.

“For example in Terengganu that relies on tourism, I have informed the menteri besar we plan to have one big centralised sewage treatment plant in the Kuala Terengganu under RMK12.

“The size will be according to the population and we plan for it to be used for the next 50 years,” he said.

On a related matter, he said the ministry was looking into amending the law to ensure that all developers connect their development projects to a centralised sewage treatment system.

“The developers ran away from the public sewage treatment system because of a loophole in the development plan that does not require development of less than 10 acres to be tied to a centralised sewage system,” he said.

On the issue of tariff increase proposed by IWK, Xavier said the matter was being discussed.

Meanwhile, Narendran said there were about 300 centralised sewage treatment plants and 6,000 multipoint sewage treatment plants.

“Migrating into centralised sewage treatment system is the way forward,” he said.

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