Over 1 million people in Klang Valley are suffering because of one broken pipe

The problem returns: Water gushing out of the 205cm main pipe in Jalan Sierramas Barat, Sungai Buloh, yesterday.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

Although experiencing water disruption is a common thing in the Klang Valley, one thing that residents will not get used to is waking up to dry taps without prior notice.

They have the necessary pails and water tanks, so, not being given time to stock up water makes one infuriated.

This happened to about 286,000 households and businesses in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor at 6am yesterday following a 205cm main water pipe bursting along Jalan Sierramas Barat in Sungai Buloh.

Among the areas affected are Sungai Buloh, Bangsar, Damansara, Kelana Jaya, PJ Old Town, Saujana Utama, Section 14, Jalan Universiti, Kg Sungai Ara, Subang and Paya Jaras.

Some affected residents called for better management of water by the authorities and if necessary to change the company responsible.

Section 14 Petaling Jaya Residents' Association chairman Selve Sugumaran, 36, said Syabas (Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor) was too slow to respond to his complaint about the water cut at 4am.

"I only got a reply at 8am about the burst pipe.

"By that time, three quarters of the residents here had emptied their water tanks.

"We requested for tankers and Syabas said that they can only provide it tomorrow.

"We have old folks, as well as mothers with newborns - how are we to cope three days without water?

"We cannot cook. We are afraid of buying food from restaurants for fear of poor hygiene practices," he said, adding that it was unfair for the people to suffer due to the authorities' mismanagement.

"We are paying customers and if the current body is not fit to run the show they should give up to a more capable person.

"We do not want to hear the same excuses of old pipes as it is happening too often. It's disrupting our lives," he said.

It was probably the worst time to do spring cleaning, but Susila Arumugam was half way through mopping her kitchen when the tap of her house in Taman Gembira in Jalan Kelang Lama went dry.

"I thought it strange, since there was no announcement of water cuts or anything,'' said the 50-year-old mother of five.

"Due to low water pressure, there was hardly any water in the tank. I was really unprepared, I don't how I am going to survive the next three days,'' Susila added.

Tuition teacher Anne Usha Soloman, 52, from Happy Garden nearby, said she only learnt about the water disruption after taps ran dry as her mother was about to cook.

"There are five of us in this house and I don't think the one tank that we have can sustain us for two more days," she said, heading out to buy drinking water.

Taman Bukit Indah resident, B. Tan resorted to using her toilet bidet spray to brush her teeth on Thursday morning as there was no water in my bathroom taps.

"Thankfully there was water from the tank connecting to the toilet," she said.

"I am at my wits end,'' lamented Parameswary Rajendran from Taman United.

The mother of three, who is preparing for her son's birthday party on Saturday, was clueless on how to cope with the water cut.

"There so much cooking and cleaning to do, I hope we will get water by tomorrow, otherwise I may be forced to cancel the party,'' added the 43-year-old housewife.

Sungai Buloh New Village resident Chong Fat, 53, who lives less than 5km from the main pipeline said they would all be in a rut if not for a nearby well in the neighbourhood.

"Although it is bad for households, it must be a lot worse for businesses.

"No one even had the time to prepare an alternate water supply," he said, being thankful the well.

Syabas corporate communications head Amin Lin Abdullah said most areas still had running water as consumers could get the supply from service reservoirs in residential areas.

"Depending on the size of the service reservoirs and rate of usage, water supply probably will deplete by tonight (April 27).

"Water tankers will be despatched to affected areas by April 28," he said on activating the Emergency Response Plan as water tankers will be mobilised to priority areas for critical users, hospitals and others.

"Customers can also request for relief water supply via SMS. Water is expected to be restored in stages after the pipe is repaired," he said.

Send an SMS to 15300 (Type Tanker Name & Address) and for details, visit www.syabas.com.my

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