The Penang state government hopes the federal government will complete the Mengkuang Dam Expansion Project (MDEP) as soon as possible to ensure the success of its role as the state’s strategic drought reserve dam.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the MDEP started in 2011 through a direct Federal Government allocation worth RM1.2 billion, involving four phases, namely Phase 1, Phase 2A, Phase 2B and Phase 2C.
“Phase 2B is being built and it involved laying of a pipeline to upgrade the drawdown capacity to 600 million litres of raw water per day (MLD) at any time from 300 MLD currently.
“Without implementation of the full scope of the RM1.2 billion MDEP (as envisioned in 2011) Penang water supply services will inevitably be disrupted by mishaps occurring at Sungai Muda, its one and only major raw water source,” he told a press conference here today.
Chow said in theory, the capacity of the expanded Mengkuang Dam would be able to last for up to 10 months in the case of a prolonged drought without any disruption to consumers, however, it is unable to fulfil its full potential considering that the project is not fully completed.
Chow added that other projects that have yet to be completed by the federal government include laying of additional pipelines to further boost the drawdown capacity to 1,000 MLD at any time, construction of a new 440 MLD pumping station at Sungai Muda as well as construction of a new barrage across Sungai Muda at Rantau Panjang.
He said currently the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) is only able to draw down 300 MLD from the expanded Mengkuang Dam, as opposed to the 1,000 MLD that is needed.
“Penang will remain vulnerable to incidents and mishaps at Sungai Muda unless the MDEP is fully completed,” he added.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency