BATU PAHAT: The Selangor government has been urged to stop playing tug of war with Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) and to immediately finalise various issues to solve the problem of shortage of water.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Zaini Ujang said this was crucial to ensure the seven million residents in Selangor and the Klang Valley would not continue being affected by water shortage.
“What’s important is for the Selangor government to stop playing tug of war (with Splash) because the people will suffer.
“This will also affect the image of Malaysia as there are many foreigners residing in the Klang Valley.
“The worst affected are those in Selangor,” he told reporters after attending a National Transformation 2050 (TN50) Green Dialogue at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia here yesterday.
Present were chairman of Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali and UTHM vice-chancellor Wahid Razzaly.
Zaini said the main thing which must be done to solve the water crisis was for the Selangor government to immediately take over the equity in Splash.
“This is a state issue, not federal issue. The payment will be financed by PAAB, which will be part of the agreement process between PAAB and the future water concession company,” he said.
Earlier, Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Irmohizam Ibrahim had blamed the Selangor government’s weak and inconsistent governance for causing imbalance in development, resulting in the recent disruption of water supply.
In his statement, he said the causes of the Selangor water issue identified (by the National Water Services Commission or SPAN) should be taken seriously, as it involves the stability and well-being of the future of Selangor residents.
He was commenting on the five causes of water woes in Selangor identified by SPAN in a meeting with Zaini recently.
The five factors were having a zero water reserve margin; high rate of non-revenue water; high water consumption; registering the highest number of water supply-related complaints; and having the most number of unscheduled water interruptions in the country.
Irmohizam said rapid growth and high population density had also caused the water consumption rate in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor to breach the national average of 209 litres per capita, and the resources were incapable of catering to the current demand.
He said the water reserve margin level should be at 10-20 per cent. However, this was not the case in Selangor and this would undoubtedly lead to water rationing in the upcoming drought season.
“Even though we are not in the drought season, the bursting of pipes has become a common problem, causing the people of Selangor to experience water disruptions.”
According to Irmohizam, another cause of the water disruption in Selangor was the reported delay in finalising the water industry restructuring process.
He said the state government was not being serious about finding a solution, claiming it was more content in pointing fingers at the federal government whenever a problem occurred.
“This attitude is very dangerous, and can cause chaos among the people.”
Water supply was disrupted from March 6, bringing misery to an estimated two million consumers in 427 affected areas in Selangor.
Water supply in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor was restored by 90 per cent by early yesterday. – Bernama