Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flash Flood in KL City and Traffic Woes

The people in KL dread heavy rain especially in the early morning or in the evening. Every time when there is a downpour of more than 1-2 hours, it causes havoc due to the massive traffic jam. Flash flood is a perennial problem in the city of KL. Every time when there is a flood, the blame game starts. In the recent incident, apparently the electricity cables inside the pump house were stolen, causing the pump not to function and hence, flood in the affected areas.

KL is the premier city of Malaysia. It probably received more tourists than any other town in Malaysia. Johor Bahru may be an important entry point for foreign tourists but most of the tourists are only using JB as an entry and transit point in other words, day-tripper. In Kuala Lumpur, the tourists spend at least a night or two before moving to other places. It does not reflect very well that a modern city is saddled with flash flood. The Sg. Besi SMART tunnel and storm water management do alleviate flash flood in certain parts of the city. However, for the rest of the city folks, we just hate the rain that comes in the morning and in the evening when traffic jam becomes inevitable.

Every time when there is a flash flood in the city, one can imagine that a lot of people will be cursing the city council. The city council should come out with a flood mitigation program for the city. This will be a long-term plan that requires studies so that a total flood mitigation program for the city can be drawn out. Normally, when flood mitigation work is undertaken, it will cause traffic jam. Hence, it has to be done in phases and since it is done in phases, the financial burden on the city hall will not be great. City hall should give top priority to flood mitigation. While landscaping is important, I see no reason why flood mitigation in KL has never been the top priority in any of the city hall’s mayor. City hall seems to spend a lot of time and wasting a lot of money doing unnecessary landscaping.

My former kawasan was known as Bandar Penggaram and it is well known for its flash flood and often been given the nickname of Bandar Tenggelam.  When I was an EXCO, I managed to get funding, both from the state and the federal government, amounting to RM70 million. This was used to launch a comprehensive flood mitigation project in Batu Pahat that stretches from 1995 until 2004. Since then, we have resolved about 90 percent of the flood problem in the town of Batu Pahat. When Johor faces its massive flood in 2007, the Batu Pahat township was spared. Maintenance of the drain is important if we want to ensure that the water flow is not affected. There is a tendency for Malaysians to throw anything into the drain and to regard drains as their dustbin. This often causes blockage of the drain and minor flood.

11 comments:

LBP said...

Dr Chua,

Funds have been allocated over the last 20-30 years and so called SMART tunnel has been contructed...but the flood havoc is still there, sometimes even worse!!!! were the monies spent wisely by DBKL (which is appointed by Barisan Nasional Government!!!), GOD knows!!

As Rakyat, we would rather give chance to Pakatan Rakyat to try manage KL for us in the coming years !!!

Poo Ching Loong said...

Dr, personally, i think is the way gov handling projects, normally, what we see is the implementation (seldom have a careful planning - after the implementation, it cant fit the needs). After the implementation, there isnt any maintenance and review of the particualr projects. Singapore did a good job on this...

Reviewing the projects for sure will help to become better in the future.

Funniman1965 said...

Dr Chua,

This is my personal experience. I stay in Jalan Kolam Air, Off Jln Ipoh which is opposite the Sentul Police station. In the 80s, it is normal that my house to have floods up to 1 meter everytime it rained heavily upstream. It can be twice a week, to me is a normal thing to wash and clean.

When Sg Batu Flood Mitigation scheme started, everything was good. The banks were straightened and riverside embankments made. Then few months later, the flood water started to come in again.

There are 2 main reasons. One is the bridge in Jln Kolam Air which have a rubbish boom and that slowed down the flow of the water. Of course, the river was not deepened as regularly.

Another one is the placement of big boulders, (which I heard by special request) near the Putra World Trade Center, effective narrowing and shallowing of the river. All these in the name of creating rapids to beautify along the riverside. You can see it anytime as you stand at the bridge next to Pan Pacific Hotel.

No one wants to talk about this but being a resident there since 1970s, it is about time that someone talk about these boulders and its problems.

Another is of course, the main contractor who is in financial problems (Per****), hence the flood mitigation project ran into problems.

You can also look into the problems of squatters who live along the riverbank who uses the river as a waste disposal system. I admit I am one of them too in the past.

Turun padang and you get to have more insights.

Pearls said...

Same story year in year out. Same shit on a different day for years already. Enough la!!

For the life of me, I cannot understand why such things can happen in KL.. Forget about finding fault with people who throw rubbish in the drain or spit on the walkway la. DBKL got hire workers to clear the drains right? So, if these workers do their work, what's the issue!? So coming back to this flood problem...

If Singapore can do it, why can't we! What's with those freaking nonsense excuses like Singapore is smaller, therefore easier to control/manage. PLEASE LA!! WE ARE COMPARING SINGAPORE TO KUALA LUMPUR.. A COUNTRY TO A STATE!

The essence of how come things in Singapore can work efficiently or much better than Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia is ATTITUDE! We here have always been lenient and finding all sorts of excuses, no matter how stupid and absurb to justify mistakes and follies! There is no accountability.. there is no nothing over here.. just like some lawless state!

Just look at this flood incident la. If this happen in Singapore, the fella in charge will have to resign or sit tight tight and wait to be sacked and forfeit in pension! You think like Malaysia meh? Fail in carrying out his/her duties properly some more want to sit there and give justification as to why it is not his/her fault such things happen ah!?

So, BN run state.. what are you going to do about this? Be like Singapore? CAN OR NOT? Dont say I am mean or look down on BN... I dont think can lor.The day BN can do things correctly, it will be the day pigs fly!

I swear said...

What SMART tunnel? Ask the public, it's DUMB tunnel. And those idiots put stones in Gombak river on pretext of beutifying it. I remember when it was done in the 1990s, the DBKL idiots said heavy rain is a possibility, not probability and he got away with damaging so much properties with falsh floods. Anyway I don't know what the idiot said by possibility vs probability. And, don't think the public don't know who benefitted from the tunnel project.

Barisan failed for 50 years. What's the harm of giving Pakatan a chance and see if theyr can solve the problems in 10 years.

Pearls said...

Wahh.. looks like people are in favor of giving PR a chance at things. Didnt I say somewhere in your blog that from the way things are now, BN can sit tight tight and wait to be voted out in the next election? Hmm..

SMART tunnel or DUMB tunnel or whatever la. It is not about having all the changgih maya equipment, utenstils, methods, SOP in place.. it is all about how things are run/implemented.

You can have the state of the art tunnels or pumps or whatever that says 'SURE DEAL FOR FLOOD' but if the people running it got no integrity to do the job well, you will still have the same problem.. flash floods here and there and everywhere every time it rains.

Pump spoil la, tunnels crack up la.. cable stolen la.. keys lost la.. control panel faulty la... maciam maciam pun ada la. BUT HOW DID THINGS SPOIL/STOLEN/CRACK UP?? WHY NO REPAIRS/REPLACE FOR SUCH PROBLEM? WHY ONLY DISCOVERED WHEN SHIT HAPPENS? Lastly, WHO'S AT FAULT?

Funniman1965 said...

Floods and giving PR a chance are totally 2 different things.
The is a difference between political masters and the DID people. I personally do not care who is the political master, all I know is there's a flood and poor people are suffering.

It takes collective management and engineering to get these things going. Calls by merely by changing political masters won't help, it only showed how shallow the thought process is.

But I be fair on this issue. My parents had been allocated a PPR flat in Selayang when Dewan Bandaraya evicted us as squatters from the river banks.

BN or PR as Government does not matter. As long as it does its job, it is a good government. And having said that, let's not micro manage these issues. The real guys to be lamblasted here are the Irrigation and Drainage Department.

呉 和豪 said...

蔡前辈
我居住在怡保路KAMPUNG KASIPPILAI(华丽镇)多年,记得刚刚搬来时,每逢下大雨过后这里就成为水乡。三年前在芭都河(SungeiBatu)的河床挖深工程完毕之后,淹水的次数就大大减少,也因此有很多居民称占拿督陈纪光是一位好议员,据说督陈纪光不时有来到华丽镇与居民交流,以了解民生问题。之后就与市政局,水利局,土地局,公共工程局及建筑公司共同合作寻找解决水灾的方案。
我们都因此非常高兴, 怎知道2009年3月2日一场长达两小时的倾坌大雨,就再次把华丽镇变成水乡。受影响的建筑物包括了民宅,商店,工厂及神庙。有许多屋子水淹超过3尺,引起许多的不便。这场水灾也造成了交通瘫痪。
这场水灾到底是天意还是人为,我无法确知,不过我也不能排除与新建的高楼有关, 原本一大片的黄土现在已被盖上洋灰地板, 再
这情况之下雨水无法顺畅的被泥土吸收及流入地低。假如水灾与新建的高楼有关我就要求有关的政府部门采取措施提升排水系统。
我要求有关当局严重看待淹水事件,因为淹水不但能给居民及商家
带来不便,同时也可能引发疾病。因此有关的政府部门应该立刻采
取行动。

Low C. W. said...

Obviously the KPI wasn't match this time, so is there any one responsible for it? where is the accoutability?

Funniman1965 said...

As a person who has been affected by flood, let me relate the sufferings which I had endure for something like 20 plus years.

1. We never had a chance to have sofa sets. All we had is those plastic chairs and rattan ones.

2. Never had a proper bed. All we had is timber raised platform with those 4" thick foam matress.

3. TV or whatever had to be placed on high metal shelves at least 5ft high.

4. Everytime it rained heavily, we have to walk to the riverbank and see if the water is rising and then prepare for the mudflows.

5. Cobras is a common sight hidden in our closet of clothes after flood and if you are not careful wading through the mud, you will be in trouble. One we had a bloated cow in our garden.

6. Children studies....school bags would be filled with mud, let alone to study.

7. Flooded cars...the car can be cleaned but the wires would corrode after few months.

8. Rubbish that were washed downstream....the stench, the flies and the wet mud ground thatw ill last for weeks....

All these endless problems...and who caused them?

Funniman1965 said...

As a person who has been affected by flood, let me relate the sufferings which I had endure for something like 20 plus years.

1. We never had a chance to have sofa sets. All we had is those plastic chairs and rattan ones.

2. Never had a proper bed. All we had is timber raised platform with those 4" thick foam matress.

3. TV or whatever had to be placed on high metal shelves at least 5ft high.

4. Everytime it rained heavily, we have to walk to the riverbank and see if the water is rising and then prepare for the mudflows.

5. Cobras is a common sight hidden in our closet of clothes after flood and if you are not careful wading through the mud, you will be in trouble. One we had a bloated cow in our garden.

6. Children studies....school bags would be filled with mud, let alone to study.

7. Flooded cars...the car can be cleaned but the wires would corrode after few months.

8. Rubbish that were washed downstream....the stench, the flies and the wet mud ground thatw ill last for weeks....

All these endless problems...and who caused them?

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