PSM wants MB’s head to roll over water woes

This article originally appeared in Malaysiakini here

Selangor PSM chairperson V Selvam has called on Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari to take responsibility for the state’s water disruption and resign.

“The water crisis in Selangor has no end, and the problem of water disruption is becoming more critical.

“This shows that the Selangor state government is no longer able to deal with water management in Selangor and Selangor PSM urges the menteri besar and Air Selangor CEO (Suhaimi Kamaralzaman) to take full responsibility by resigning,” he said in a statement today.

Selvam said just a few days ago, the problem of broken pipes in Jalan Bukit Kuda affected consumers in 15 areas, especially around Klang and Shah Alam.

“Even before that problem subsided, the water pollution problem in Sungai Selangor recurred on Oct 19 affecting more than one million users in 1,292 areas in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat,” he added.

Aside from the resignations, Selvam said Selangor PSM wants the state government to understand that this problem is not an ordinary one.

“Strict laws and punitive actions in addition to sound monitoring mechanisms at the local council level, the Department of Environment and the Selangor Water Management Board (Luas) need to be implemented immediately,” he added.

Selvam also suggested that the Selangor government implement alternative measures such as making rainwater catchment in state-funded housing areas.

“This can solve the problem of local water needs and water supply disruptions will not affect many consumers,” he said.

For the problem of broken pipes, Selvam called on the government to implement regular and scheduled pipe maintenance programmes to prevent this problem from recurring.

“Water is a basic facility and so it is the responsibility of the state government to provide sufficient funds for this purpose.

“The problem of broken pipes and leaking pipes also contribute to 30 percent non-revenue water which exacerbates the water supply problem in Selangor,” he added.

Selvam said Air Selangor should monitor and inspect all water treatment plants and supply areas to identify problems such as old pipes and equipment, leaks and those that require good replacement and maintenance.

“Air Selangor should also provide a ‘back-up’ system, such as an alternative pipeline that is only used when the main pipeline is having problems.

“They should also review and update the water management SOP during the current crisis to avoid this problem in the future. 

“The staff involved in this task must be trained to be able to handle problems efficiently and quickly,” he added.

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