RM600m to Pahang annually for Langat Two

(Selangor Times) – Selangor will need to pay Pahang RM600 million annually for raw water if the state agrees to the Sungai Langat Two project, executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar said yesterday.

He said this is on top of the RM8.4 billion needed to build the pipes and RM3.94 billion to construct the water treatment plant, which will come up to more than RM12 billion.

 “Why spend over RM12 billion when we can upgrade existing treatment plants for RM225 million (to raise water reserve level)?” Dr Jayakumar pointed out during a debate with Datuk Dr Ching Eu Boon from MCA.

 He said the exorbitant cost will invariably be transferred to consumers and result in higher water tariffs in the near future.

 The Sri Andalas state lawmaker added that Selangor has yet to tap into its underground water and exhaust water conservation options such as rainwater harvesting.

 Ching, the Barisan Nasional coordinator for Pandamaran, had insisted that the Langat Two project is crucial to overcome the purported water crisis in Selangor. However, he did not offer any proof or fresh arguments on why Langat Two should continue.

 The water “crisis” was sparked by Selangor’s sole water distributor Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) recent application to carry out water rationing exercise, claiming the state is running out of treated water.

 But Syabas’s application has since been dismissed by Putrajaya and its claim of treated water shortage has been debunked by Selangor as well.

 Datuk Dr Jacob George, president of Consumers Association of Subang & Shah Alam, slammed the concessionaire for manufacturing the water crisis at the debate.

 He said a check with the association’s network of residents groups and parent-teacher associations around the nine districts in Selangor reveal no crisis.

 George backed the state’s proposal to hold a referendum of the people on the issue.

 “Let the people and consumers decide,” said George.

 The debate was organised and recorded by online portal AntaraPos.com in Shah Alam yesterday.