Concessionaire insists water crisis is real despite abundance

Water concessionaire Syabas has maintained that there is a crisis in parts of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya despite abundant raw water supply and intermittent rain in recent days.

It said this was because demand for treated water had outstripped capacity at the 34 treatment plants.

Syabas technical services executive director V. Subramaniam said the crisis had nothing to do with how much raw water was currently available in the state’s dams, claiming that Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahimwas confusing the public with statements that these were “full and overflowing”.

“In fact, the water crisis is due to the shortfall in the amount of treated water to meet increasing demand,” Subramaniam said at Syabas headquarters here yesterday.

On Monday, Khalid had said that he doubted there was a real water crisis as both the state water regulator and Syabas board of directors had not been informed of its proposal to start rationing water.

Subramaniam blamed the shortage of treated water on Selangor’s refusal to approve the implementation of crucial projects that would have gone towards increasing the production of treated water in the state, citing the Langat 2 water treatment plant as a factor.

Syabas, he also claimed, had sent 48 letters to the state government since May 25, 2005, about the possibility of a water crisis.

“We should at this point ask the Mentri Besar what his solution is to this problem,” said Subramaniam.

In a statement, MCA central committee member Loh Seng Kok slammed the Selangor government for its inability to find a solution to the increasingly serious water shortage.

“While it continues to insist that Selangor’s dams are at maximum capacity and question the building of the Langat 2 reservoir, it should answer why it is ignoring the plight of the people,” he said.

The Pakatan-led government, Loh said, had obviously placed its own interest over the public by politicising the issue of water supply and refusing to continue negotiations with the Federal Government on overcoming the problem.

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