GEORGE TOWN: There appears to be no end in sight to the flooding woes in Penang.
Penang folk are disgruntled that the issue persists despite the promises made by the state government to resolve it.
Shaik Mohamad Karim, 50, said he had experienced many flash floods at his house in Lintang P. Ramlee, Datuk Keramat here.
He said the flash floods had worsened since the DAP-led Penang government took office in 2008.
He claimed that this was due to the construction of strata homes, which blocked the flow of water into Sungai Pinang, apart from unsystematic drainage system and road construction.
“Back then, floods here were not as bad. Now, with the flats built along the river, the problem has worsened.”
Last November, the State Legislative Assembly was told that 119 flash floods were recorded between 2013 and Oct 15 last year.
In 2013, there were 22 flash floods; 20 in 2014; 26 in 2015; 30 in 2016; and 21 recorded between January and Oct 15 last year.
Rosminah Unip, 45, said she was fed up with frequent floodings that had damaged her furniture a few times.
“I had to throw them away. How long do we have to face this? It is never-ending. I spent a lot of money to replace the furniture.
“Our assemblyman (Jagdeep Singh Deo) did not even visit, let alone help us. Is he aware that the floodwaters sometimes rose to the neck? What has he been doing as an assemblyman?” she asked.
State Barisan Nasional secretary Datuk Omar Fauza said the efforts taken by the state government to address the flooding woes were not comprehensive as they targeted only certain areas.
He said flash floods had worsened due to hillslope development, which also resulted in landslides.
“The drainage system is inefficient and not maintained properly. The approved housing density is not in tandem with the condition of the drainage system.”
The housing density under BN was 87 units per acre. It is now 150.
“Water catchment areas, which are not properly maintained, have also contributed to the worsening floods,” said Omar.
He said the state government must look into all aspects, including the need to stop hillslope development if it wanted to put a stop to the problem.
“We do not need promises and claims that the flooding problem can be solved in nine months. We want action.”