Sungai Pinang and Sungai Juru at Class 2 by 2015
Plan to revive rivers on track
PENANG is confident of rehabilitating its former dead rivers — Sungai Pinang and Sungai Juru — from Class 5 to Class 2 by 2015.
Class 5 has been classified as the most polluted with no marine life while Class 2 is clean enough for people to swim in it.
State Drainage and Irrigation Department director (DID) Hanapi Mohamad Noor said both rivers had been under rehabilitation for the last 10 years. They were under Class 5 and are now at Class Three, a stage allowing fish to survive in the rivers.
“Apart from increasing enforcement against polluters as well as public awareness, the department spends about RM100,000 annually to clean up each river,” he said at an environment awareness programme opening at the Sungai Juru water catchment area in Butterworth recently.
Hanapi said the department was presently preparing a master plan to rehabilitate Sungai Juru at the cost of RM300mil.
He said, although Sungai Pinang’s RM450mil rehabilitation master plan was ready this year, it could not be implemented due to problems in relocating some 200 squatter houses in the area.
“We hope the state government will help settle the squatter problems soon so that we can go ahead with the Sungai Pinang rehabilitation master plan under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
“The Sungai Juru master plan affects a smaller number of squatters and we hope to carry it out under the 10th Malaysia Plan,” he said.
He noted the Class 2 status for both rivers could be achieved by 2015, if all recommendations in both master plans, which included the provision of recreational facilities near the riverside, could be fulfilled.
Hanapi also said the department would spend about RM1mil in the next two years to add 100 log booms to trap rubbish in major monsoon drains leading to Sungai Pinang, Sungai Juru and Sungai Prai.
Presently, he said, there were 150 log booms placed at major river mouths throughout the state.– The Star