Selangor and Putrajaya continue talks on takeover of water assets

Selangor and Putrajaya continue talks on takeover of water assets

PETALING JAYA - Selangor and Putrajaya will continue to discuss how the state's water assets are to be taken over by the Federal Government, a move that will see construction of the Langat 2 treatment plan finally take off.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will meet Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili to talk about the streamlining of the takeover process by Putrajaya via Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Wasia).

This comes as Selangor enters its fourth phase of water rationing.

Association for Water and Energy Research (Awer) president S. Piarapakaran said the longer the talks on the takeover takes, the longer it would take for the Langat 2 plant to be built.

"As long as they delay Langat 2, this is going to extend water rationing for many years to come," he said.

Once completed, the treatment plant will supply a further 1,130 million litres of treated water a day to Selangor.

Piarapakaran said water mitigation projects, including maintenance of the state's treatment plants and pipes, could only meet demand until 2016.

The state, he said, also had to cope with future development projects, adding to the strain on Selangor's water supply.

Piarapakaran argued that the Federal Government needed to drop its "willing-buyer, willing-seller" approach that would allow water concessionaires here to negotiate compensation terms favourable to them.

He argued that further deliberation over the takeover would not benefit the people, who could not afford to face another water crisis.

Compensation, he added, needed to be kept as low as possible so that costs would not be borne by the public when the state's water assets would be restructured.

Malaysian Water Association president Syed Mohamad Alhabshi said it would take three years to complete Langat 2 plant.

It was previously reported that Selangor had a mere 0.73 per cent water reserve margin, which Syed Mohamad said was too low to be considered "security of supply".

Previously, Selangor offered the state's four concessionaires RM9.65 billion (S$3.71 billion) to take over their assets, which was declined.

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