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CMCO hampers rebuilding of drain
Published on: Saturday, October 17, 2020
By: Sidney Skinner
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The soil beside this Penampang flood mitigation drain destabilised and fell inside while DID was arranging to build the damaged walls.
EFFORTS to rebuild part of a Penampang flood mitigation drain which collapsed earlier this year has hit a snag due to the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

A Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) spokeswoman said custom-made concrete pieces were needed to replace the damaged sections of the drain wall.

“These ‘sheet piles’ have to be ordered from Peninsular Malaysia as they cannot be locally sourced,” she said.

“This can only be done once the CMCO is lifted,” she said.

She was responding to separate complaints from two Penampang homeowners who bemoaned the inconvenience caused by the flash floods in Golf Garden and Taman Golfview.

The spokeswoman said DID officers and their counterparts from the District Council inspected the drainage servicing both neighbourhoods in the first week of September.

The DID is trying to replace these damaged “L-shaped’ concrete pieces for the drain.

“They noted that there was a blockage at one part of the mitigation drain as the concrete walls had collapsed,” she said.

“This had reduced the capacity of the structure. We removed the debris, including several ‘L-shaped units’ which had deteriorated.”

She said this resulted in the earth, held up by these parts of the wall, being temporarily exposed.

“Unfortunately, before we could put back the damaged pieces, the rainwater washed much of the soil back into the drain during downpours in October.”

The spokeswoman said this contributed to the drainage woes highlighted by both homeowners.

“In light of the floods, which struck the neighbourhoods on the first weekend in October and again in the middle of the month, we will unclog this part of the drain.

“We will arrange to have an excavator deployed to the area as soon as possible.”

She hoped this action would go some way to reducing the severity of the floods which occurred in the affected neighbourhoods.

“It should offer the residents some temporary relief until we can finish rebuilding the collapsed section of the drain.”

MIKE of Penampang said in all the years that he had lived in Golf Garden, he had never seen the flood mitigation drain fill up as quickly as it did when it rained heavily on Oct 12.

“During the downpour, the water in the drain reached an unprecedented level,” he said.

He said water overflowed onto the surrounding area, including the road leading to the Pavilion Commercial Centre and the compound of a supermarket, both located off Jalan Bundusan. 

He suspected that these drainage woes might stem from the way a house in Golf Garden was rebuilt.

“The original two-storey house was demolished and reconstructed into a three-storey one.

“For the past year, the house has been extended towards the large drain. I believe that the home-owner may have encroached into the drain reserve.”

Mike said this might have contributed to the collapse of the drain.

“I have noticed that the section of the drain narrows behind the house. 

“Earth and parts of the drain walls are stacked on the slope which can easily destabilise and fall into the drain.

He felt that at some point during a future downpour this was likely to happen.

“As and when it does, we are liable to experience a worse flood. 

“This might even result in Datuk Shafie Apdal’s house, in the nearby Taman Golfview, being inundated by water from the drain.”

He hoped the local authorities would look into his concerns and act on any improprieties in the manner which the house had been rebuilt.

SATVINDER, who lives in Taman Golfview, said many motorists found the pool which formed on his housing road when it rained to be impassable.

“The run-off collects at one section of the road and the water level gets so high that it is difficult for small vehicles to pass,” he said. 

“This, sometimes, causes a bad jam to form on the stretch. 

The water from the blocked flood mitigation drain overflowed and flooded this Penampang neighbourhood.

“On top of this, the water from the drains overflows into our compounds, literally trapping us inside our homes.”

He said drivers also had to shoulder the high costs of maintaining their cars due to the wear and tear caused from going through the flood waters.

Satvinder said he first encountered the ponding problem in Taman Golfview Phase 2 earlier this year.

“It is high time for the local authorities to consider upgrading the drainage for the road.

“They did send workers to clear the drain after I highlighted our flood woes in the media in September.”

He acknowledged that this did help as, for a time, the drain did not overflow.

“This relief was only short-term, however, for a worse flood occurred in the middle of October.”

A Council spokesman said the agency was working together with the DID to tackle the drainage woes in Taman Golfview and Golf Garden.

“We will also speak to the government concessionaire about increasing the frequency of maintenance carried out on the roadside drains in these neighbourhoods,” he said.



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