Monday, 23 July 2012

Selangor to upgrade plants for greater clean water supply

July 23, 2012
PUTRAJAYA, July 23 — Selangor will pay to upgrade two water treatment plants to increase water supply if Putrajaya still delays transferring RM225 million for the project, Selangor state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar said today.

The two plants, Sungai Selangor Plant 1 (SSP1) and Sungai Selangor Plant 2 (SSP2), are currently running below their maximum capacity output due to infrastructural limitations to channel treated water out to the water supply network.

Dr Jayakumar makes a point when speaking to reporters after touring the water treatment plant. — Picture by Siow Feng Saw
“The Selangor government is prepared to spend its own funds to fulfil these mitigation projects, which are actually the responsibility of the federal government, to ensure that people of Selangor have enough water,” he told reporters after touring the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant under the management of Konsortium ABBAS Sdn Bhd (ABBAS) near here.

Dr Jayakumar said the state government had requested the funds from the Ministry of Finance earlier this year to pay for mitigation projects and upgrading of the two plants but has yet to get a reply.

Two weeks ago, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) said it would ask the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to allow water rationing if the state’s water treatment plants hit near zero reserve, far below the ideal level of 20 per cent.

Critics of Syabas and its parent company Puncak Niaga Bhd were quick to question whether the water crisis was “manufactured” and a ploy to hasten construction of the RM3.6 billion Langat 2 water treatment plant which they speculate Puncak Niaga would be eyeing to operate.

Both companies are controlled by Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, who is also Selangor Umno treasurer.

A special Cabinet committee that met today has approved the Langat 2 project, saying it was to avert a water crisis in 2014.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim announced last week the state would invoke clause 32 of the concession agreement with Syabas to take over operations of the water supplier, accusing the company of being incompetent for failing to lower non-revenue water (NRW) to below 20 per cent and owing RM2.8 billion in arrears.

Syabas refuted these claims, stating that it had informed the state government of the dire situation and blamed the freeze on its capex for its inability to function up to standard.

On Thursday, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin announced that the special Cabinet committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, himself and other ministers, would look into the water issue.

Dr Jayakumar subsequently called for Chin’s resignation for the minister’s failure to discharge his duties as listed in the concession agreement between the state and federal governments along with Syabas.

Khalid said last Friday he would approach the Syabas board of directors to sack Rozali, the executive chairman, and chief executive officer Datuk Ruslan Hassan, saying that the move would save the utility provider up to RM5.1 million in operational costs.

More to come

No comments:

Post a Comment