Penampang council may rebuild drains to solve flash flood woes
Published on: Saturday, January 16, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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A mini swimming pool forms on this Penampang housing road after the drains overflow.
THE Penampang District Council is weighing the possibility of improving the drainage in Taman Millennium Heights, following a complaint about the flash floods which occur when it rains heavily.

A spokesman for the agency said the administration would deliberate over the feasibility of rebuilding the housing drains and some of the roads in the neighbourhood which is located off Jalan Bundusan. 

“Should we decide to proceed, then we will have to source for funds to implement this plan,” he said.

“A proposal for the upgrading work will be put together. This will be used to apply for an allocation from the Federal Housing Ministry.”

He said the Council’s officers had inspected the area several times to try and identify the possible causes for the drainage woes there.

“They observed that only between 30-40 per cent of the run-off was being released through the main outlet for the drains servicing the neighbourhood.

“We suspect that the water inside these drains is not flowing properly due to a problem with the gradient. 

“The settlement which has taken place in the area over the years may have given rise to this problem.”

He said the Council would step up efforts to have the drains cleared more frequently until the refurbishment could get off the ground.

“This is the most that we can do while waiting to receive the sum needed to put our plan for the drains and roads there into action.”

RAY of Penampang said he and others living in Taman Grand Millennium Heights had been putting up with flood woes for several months.

“The water begins to overflow from the housing drains after only a few minutes of rainfall, flooding the stretch,” he said.

“The water level can sometimes rise so high that, for a time, there is a ‘mini swimming pool’ outside our front gates.”

During a particularly intense downpour in early December, the stretch in front of his home was submerged after less than half an hour, according to him.

“The road became impassable to motorists with smaller vehicles like a Kancil’ or Kelisa.”

He bemoaned the inconvenience of having to remove the mud and debris left behind after the water had receded. 

“Me and my neighbours not only had to clean our compounds but also the drains in our area.

“We are so fed up of having to do this each time it floods. 

“The drains have overflowed so often this year, that cracks and potholes have begun to form on our housing roads.”

Ray was of the opinion that these flood woes stemmed from the lack of maintenance carried out on a “monsoon drain” near the neighbourhood.

“On occasion, this drain can get full after less than 30 minutes of heavy rain. 

“When this happens, the water starts to spill over from the ones in the neighbourhood.”

On top of filling up quickly, he also noticed that the bigger drain had become damaged in September.

“Some parts of the concrete wall collapsed. The affected section still has not been rebuilt,” he said in January.

Ray detailed his grievance to Hotline in a letter which was forwarded to the Council, as well as the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).

A DID spokeswoman said the Department’s officers and their peers from the Council inspected the monsoon drain in the first week of September.

“They noted that there was a blockage at one part of the 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 subsequent downpours.”

The spokeswoman said this contributed to the drainage woes in Taman Millennium Heights.

“In light of the recurring floods in the neighbourhood, we will try to have this part of the drain unclogged more often.

“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.

When asked about the five-month delay in having the monsoon drain repaired, the spokeswoman said the material necessary to do this had been ordered from Peninsula Malaysia.

“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation in Selangor, we are still waiting for the shipment to arrive in the State,” she said on January 11.


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