Selangor govt, Syabas at odds over rationing


(The Sun Daily) – The Selangor government and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) are caught in an impasse over the question of water rationing from today as politics got in the way of uninterrupted supply.

This leaves a big question mark over whether taps will go dry from this morning.

State authorities and the water distribution company are at odds with the state government insisting that it will reduce raw water going into treatment plants from today, but Syabas refuses to be drawn into the issue.

This may mean that less water will be entering plants this morning, leading to less water available for distribution to consumers.

The drama began soon after Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (pix) had tweeted early today that rationing would be imposed to ensure adequate reserves after a heat wave led to critical levels at dams.

Even as he indicated that it would be done on a “two-day on, two-day off” rotation basis in specific areas, there was silence from Syabas, the state’s sole water distributor.

Hours later, he released a statement that Syabas had refused to carry out rationing or preparation of an emergency action plan on the diminishing water reserves or a tentative rationing schedule.

He asked the State Economic Planning Unit (Upen) to discuss the matter with the National Water Commission (Span) and allow the state government to take over water distribution.

“Syabas was supposed to prepare an emergency action plan so that consumers can make early preparations (for rationing). However, it failed to present a schedule and passed the responsibility to the state government,” he said in the statement.

Khalid said the state will be reducing the release of raw water from the Sungai Selangor dam into four treatment plants in stages starting today.

The Sungai Rasa and Sungai Selangor 1, 2, and 3, plants will receive a 7% reduced raw water supply in the first stage, 10% for the second, 15% for the third, and 20% for the fourth.

By the fourth stage, raw water supply to the plants would have been reduced by 500 million litres a day (MLD).

Meanwhile, a state government source told theSun that permission from Syabas or the federal government was vital for the state to take over water distribution and undertake rationing.

When contacted, Syabas corporate communications and public affairs department assistant general manager Priscilla Alfred said she was not taking questions on the matter.

She said a statement is being prepared by the concessionaire for the press but did not indicate when it will be released.

However, the Syabas website stated that it had activated a plan where staff will be monitoring and managing emergency assistance services.

It said that emergency water supply would be limited and urged consumers not to waste water. Syabas urged those needing emergency assistance to call the Puspel Syabas’ toll-free hotline at 1800-88-5252.