Ministry To Study Whether Double Track Project Causes Floods – Abdul Rahim

Posted on November 13, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Economics |

(Bernama) — The Transport Ministry will study whether the electrified double track project (EDTP) from Ipoh to Padang Besar was among the causes for the recent major flooding in Kedah, its deputy minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said.

He said the ministry would consult the Drainage and Irrigation Department and the Department of Environment following accusations that the MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd’s project was among the possible causes for the flood.

“We are sensitive with the public’s opinion, so we will consult the contractor and both departments for their views,” he told reporter after attending a briefing by the Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas here Saturday.

He said in 2005, Kedah also experienced a major flooding although the EDTP had not started yet.

“Heavy rainfall, described as the worst in 35 years, could have also contributed to the flood, but we will definitely find out the truth behind the accusations,” he said.

Abdul Rahim was at the airport today to attend a briefing on how bad the floods had affected the runway.

The airport was closed from Nov 2 until Thursday after the runway was submerged in floodwaters, forcing the cancellation of 60 flights.

Meanwhile, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) said the move by Penang DAP government to order a stop to the project was inappropriate.

KTMB senior corporate communications manager Mohd Fazli Ismail said the project did not aggravate the floods in Kedah nor should it be a cause for concern in Penang.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department’s report showed a heavy rainfall during the recent flood, nearly double those recorded in 2005, he said.

“Flooding also occurred in southern Thailand and there are no double-tracking projects there,” he said, adding that the stop-work order would cause implications in terms of cost and affect tourism development planning in Perak, Kedah, Penang and Perlis.

He said KTMB and MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture would meet the state government to thrash out the matter.

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