MO,30/1/2018, KOTA BARU: The federal government’s decision to implement the Sungai Kelantan Integrated River Basin Development Project (PLSB) received favourable response from villagers living along the state’s major river. Nearly 100,000 people in Tumpat, Pasir Mas, Kota Baru, Tanah Merah and Machang, who are faced with perennial flooding issue, will benefit from the project, targeted for completion in May 2021.
One of the villagers, Yahya Mohamad said Kelantanese should thank the federal government, especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for implementing the project. “Many of us have been suffering especially after the 2014 major flood and hope that the project will alleviate our problem,” said the 56-year-old father of six from Pintu Geng.
Another villager, Siti Hajar Harun said the project showed that the government was really concerned about the wellbeing of Kelantan and its people who are constantly hit each year by monsoonal floods. “Many villagers are affected each time there is a rainy season and some of them have lost their valuables in such disasters. “Therefore, we hope the incident will not happen again when the project is completed,” said the 32-year-old businesswoman from Kampung Paloh.
The Phase 1 of the PLSB, worth RM572 million, was launched by Najib on Sunday. Costing about RM9.6 billion, PLSB will be implemented in three phases. Phase 2 will be implemented through the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12), involving RM2.16 billion; and Phase 3 (RM6.87 billion) will be implemented under the RMK-13 plan.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was reported to have said that PLSB would spare properties along Sungai Pengkalan Chepa (which is located in the Sungai Kelantan basin) from flood damage. He said infrastructure and public properties along a 10km (stretch of the) riverbanks would be protected from floods.