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    HomeNewsMalaysiaFaulty barrage gate incident in Sg Muda occurred outside working hours, says...

    Faulty barrage gate incident in Sg Muda occurred outside working hours, says SPAN

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    PETALING JAYA: The National Water Services Commission (SPAN) has revealed that the faulty barrage gate opening, which resulted in a flow of uncontrollable water from Sungai Muda, occurred outside of working hours. According to SPAN chairman Charles Santiago, the incident happened at approximately 10pm on May 13. The officers of the Sungai Muda River Basin Management (PLSM) have working hours from 8.30am to 4.30pm and are off on Fridays and Saturdays. Santiago mentioned during a press conference on Monday (July 10) that the staff only works round the clock during the monsoon season. The PLSM is an agency under the Drainage and Irrigation Department.

    In light of this incident, Santiago proposed for the National Resources, Energy and Climate Change Ministry to declare the area a security zone. This will enable increased monitoring efforts and extend operations to 24 hours daily. He emphasized the need to improve the existing standard operating procedure and expand the scope of PLSM’s operations to include water supplies. Currently, PLSM focuses on flood mitigation and agriculture sectors. The press conference aimed to share the findings of SPAN’s technical committee on water supply disruptions in Kedah and Penang earlier this year, which affected approximately 678,000 consumers.

    Datuk Mohd Azmi Ismail, a commissioner of SPAN, highlighted the need to upgrade existing technologies to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. He stressed that regular maintenance is necessary for the gate, which had opened due to a technical glitch. Additionally, there were no SMS alerts to inform water operators of the situation. Looking ahead, SPAN’s CEO Datuk Ahmad Faizal Abdul Rahman proposed the development of alternative water sources to reduce dependence on Sungai Muda as the main water supply. He mentioned that the Perak Mentri Besar had shown willingness to discuss supplying water to Penang. The hope is to find a solution to prevent future disruptions.

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    In May of this year, the faulty barrage gate opening led to water flowing out of Sungai Muda after an automatic sensor failed. This resulted in over six million account holders in certain areas facing water supply disruptions. By the next morning, Sungai Muda’s water level had dropped from 3m to just 50cm. As a result, various areas in Penang and Kedah experienced unscheduled water disruptions. Sungai Muda serves as the main raw water resource for Kedah and Penang.



    Credit: The Star : News Feed

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