DID seeking RM1.8bil under 12MP to complete Kuching’s flood bypass project, says state director

KUCHING (Jan 14): The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) Sarawak is bidding for RM1.8 billion under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to complete a flood mitigation project here, which involves the Batang Salak bypass channel, its director Datuk Chok Moi Soon said.

He told The Borneo Post today that the project comprised the construction of an 8km flood bypass channel to Batang Salak as well as other structures including a barrage, a tidal control gate, two bridges, river closure and a flood bund.

He pointed out that 2km of the flood bypass channel had been completed under the ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), and that the department had submitted the design for other structures under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).

“We completed the design and land acquisition under 10MP. We were supposed to do part of the project under 11MP. However, our former chief minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem requested to use the funds to mitigate flash floods in Kuching.

“So we are bidding for RM1.8 billion under the 12MP for the Flood Mitigation Project for Kuching City,” he said.

Chok said the current floods here were a result of Sungai Sarawak bursting its banks due to a combination of the amount of river water and the King Tide.

Under the flood mitigation project, he said there would be a flood bund to stop the spillover of water from the rivers into the city.

“Basically, flood water comes down from upper catchment such as Bau and Bengoh areas. A new barrage near Sg Maong Paroh will be closed during flood to divert (water) to the flood bypass channel and to Batang Salak.

“Downstream the existing barrage will be closed to stop the King Tide intrusion. Along the bypass channel will be a flood bund to stop overspill into Kuching city,” he explained.

Chok had also told The Borneo Post today that a RM250 million funding announced in 2018 for flood mitigation was meant to tackle localised flash floods in Kuching and Sibu.

He said the projects the RM150 million project here were delayed by various factors, including changes in the federal government, while the project in Sibu was 33 per cent completed.

In this respect, he pointed out that the project involving the Batang Salak flood bypass channel was still necessary.

“We are having a major flood now which will require the major flood mitigation project involving flood bypass channel to Batang Salak to be in place,” said Chok.

Source: Borneo Post

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