Public sceptical over handling of depleting dams

Public sceptical over handling of depleting dams

PETALING JAYA - The public seems sceptical over measures to handle the depletion at dams in the state, said Selangor elected representatives.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said feedback from voters showed they were "worried and sceptical" over what the state government was doing despite its assurances that there would be no water rationing.

"People see no rain despite cloud-seeding exercises and the move to draw water from former mining pools to supplement Sungai Selangor is another source of concern.

"People fear the heavy metal contamination in these waters," said Santiago yesterday.

He said the state needed to begin conservation policies to ensure long-term sustainability in water supply.

"We need to push hard for rain water harvesting now and impose an immediate ban on car-washing and bottling of water, as well as a no-hose policy as practised in Australia," said Santiago.

Other MPs in Selangor have urged the state to put aside politics and focus on the people's welfare.

Datuk Seri Noh Omar, Barisan Nasional's MP for Tanjung Karang, said the state should have inked the deal with the Federal Government to construct the Langat 2 water treatment plant a long time ago.

PAS' MP for Sepang Mohd Hanipa Maidin hoped that there would be no need for water rationing.

"But if it is inevitable, I'll tell my constituents to be patient and ready," he said.

Several resident associations (RA) questioned the sustainability of the move to draw water from former mining ponds.

Bukit Gasing RA chairman Rafiq FazalĀ­din called it a short-term measure.

"This is just a public relations exercise. It is to give people some comfort that the state is doing something but they are not doing it for the long term," he said yesterday.

He said that while the idea is "out of the box", the state still needed to show the public the safety assessment and possible health risks involved.

Abdul Aziz Ishak, the chairman of the Parkville Townhouses RA in Kota Damansara here, said low-income earners would be hit hard should the state impose a second round of rationing.

"They can't afford big storage tanks or to check into hotels," he said.

Balakong Rukun Tetangga coordinator Mejar (Rtd) Abdul Rahim Mohd Amin said he had advised residents in Taman Impian Ehsan and surrounding neighbourhoods to be prepared.

He said that during the previous water rationing exercise, residents dug up three wells to cope with the situation.

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