DID, PWD clear drains after flash floods
Published on: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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Globinaco workers put their backs into cleaning the front-yard drains along this Karamunsing road.
THE Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) is clearing a Manggatal drain while the Public Works Department’s concessionaire has done the same in  Karamunsing.

This action was prompted by complaints from two homeowners about flash floods occurring in their respective neighbourhoods, when it rained heavily. 

They provided Hotline with the location of the drains in question which were forwarded to the DID and the company.

A DID spokeswoman said a contractor had been assigned to de-silt the large drain behind one section of Taman Sepanggar Phase 2

“The individual has been carrying out this work in stages, since the end of August” she said.

“An excavator has been dredging up the sediment from the bottom of the drain and clearing the water vegetation which had formed inside.”

She said, in places which proved inaccessible to this machinery, the cleaning was performed manually.

“The contractor’s workers had to dig out the layers of mud from some of the outlets with spades.

“They even had to have a damaged culvert hoisted out from one part of the drain.”

The contractor’s workers hoist a damaged culvert out of one part of the drain.

When asked how often the structure was cleaned, the spokeswoman said there was no fixed schedule for this maintenance.

“We try to have our drains outside the city-limits cleaned annually. If the Department’s budget permits, this may be performed once more in that same year.” 

She said the DID’s drains in the State Capital were generally attended to between three to four times annually.

The spokeswoman was responding to a Manggatal resident’s claims about the poor condition of the large drain behind Lorong Mempelam 3c, where he lived.

VOO of Manggatal went down to this structure in the Sepanggar Bay area at the beginning of September.

“Thick layers of mud could be seen above the surface of the water inside the outlets near my house,” he said.” 

He said there were also islands, full of overgrown grass, floating close to this part of the drain.

The width of the structure had narrowed substantially because of these “islands”, according to him.

“I couldn’t understand why these obstacles had not been removed when the structure was previously cleaned in May.

“It is very likely that my housing road will be flooded if this work is not carried out properly.”

Voo did not get a good night’s rest when it rained heavily on September 3 and September 4. 

“I couldn’t sleep properly because I was worried that my house might flooded. Thankfully, this did not happen that Friday and Saturday”.

Voo said the neighbourhood had flooded several times over the past two years.

“This most recently happened in June. The big drain filled up quickly and, after less than half an hour of rainfall, my housing road and compound was buried under water.

A DID contractor operates an excavator to clear the silt and water vegetation from this Manggatal drain.

He said the water eventually rose about one foot high.

“Some of my furniture and electrical appliances were damaged as a result of this.”

He bemoaned the time and energy spent in cleaning up the mud left behind, after the flood water had receded.

Given these recurring drainage woes, Voo hoped that the DID would try to ensure that the large drain was thoroughly maintained.

“They should focus on having the outlets and culverts here unclogged.”

The spokeswoman said DID staff would double-check on the contractor’s efforts and advise the individual accordingly of what was lacking. 

Meanwhile, Globinaco Sdn Bhd attended to the front-yard drains along Jalan Sang Kancil last week, after several homes in this part of Karamunsing flooded during the downpours in September.

A spokeswoman for the firm said this work was usually performed twice annually.

“Per this schedule, our workers were meant to go to the neighbourhood in December,” she said.

“However, this maintenance was brought forward after we learnt about the floods here.” 

WILL of Karamunsing said the water in the drains occasionally spilled over onto the housing road and into his compound, when it rained heavily.

“I suspect the water inside stagnates during the dry spells as a foul smell can be detected coming from the direction of the drains,” he said.

“I fear that these structures may have become a breeding a ground for mosquitoes.”

Will said this situation arose because the structures were blocked.

“The condition of the drains has gradually been deteriorating over the past few years. 


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