Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ultimatum shocker


Selangor MB spits out shocking conditions on Langat 2, water plant

THE Parti Keadilan Rakyat-led Selangor government has issued a shocking ultimatum as anxiety deepens over an imminent water crisis in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

The Selangor government is demanding that the Federal Government put in writing the proposed “post-Langat 2” water tariff and also declare water facilities worth RM10.5 billion as “state assets” before both parties could even “discuss” about the Langat 2 treatment plant which would ensure sustainable supply till 2030.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, dictating the ground rules, said: “They have to do it in writing. They can’t just make verbal promises. This is not just a RM1 million deal. If they agree to put it in writing, then we can discuss.

“If they agree not to increase the water tariff, we also want to discuss the recognition of RM10.5 billion of Selangor’s assets. Then, I will tell the people of Selangor that this is a good deal for them. “If I am satisfied, they can even proceed with Langat 3,” he told reporters at Karnival Terima Kasih Rakyat, here, yesterday.

Khalid listed the RM10.5 billion in assets as pipes, treatment plants and dams which he claimed belonged to Selangor. Despite a body of facts to the contrary, the menteri besar maintained that the Langat 2 plant was not cost-effective compared with the reduction of non-revenue water (NRW) or transferring water from Kenyir Lake, which were the state’s proposals.

“We have other (cheaper) options to increase the volume of treated water in all existing treatment plants.

"If we agree to Langat 2 today, it will be completed only in two years. There is a company that can increase treated water production capacity using containerised membrane technology and this can be done in a year," he said.

The current demand had exceeded capacity as of May 17.

In an immediate reaction, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said if Abdul Khalid was sincere and did not want to see the people of Selangor facing a water crisis, he should not link the construction of Langat 2 to the restructuring of the water industry.

The menteri besar should not place many conditions before Langat 2 could proceed, Chin added.

"It is important for the plant to be built now so that it can be completed by 2016 or 2017.

"Negotiations for the details of the restructuring exercise can continue and both sides can seek the best way forward."
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On Wednesday, Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry water sector senior division secretary Sutekno Ahmadbelon said it was more cost-efficient to build the Langat 2 water treatment plant than to reduce NRW in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Sutekno said it would cost RM7.2 billion to reduce NRW from 32.3 per cent to 20.8 per cent, which would only provide an extra 500 million litres per day (MLD) compared with the total cost of the Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer project, including the Langat 2 water treatment plant.

The water transfer project and Langat 2 would cost RM8.9 billion at 1,130 million litres per day in its first phase.

In Ampang, consumers were unnerved by the stalling tactics of the Selangor government over the Langat 2 water treatment plant.

A. Rahim, a pensioner, said a large number of residents in Pandan Indah were fearful that another bout of water disruption might occur very soon.

"It usually happens without warning. The recent disruption came and only after watching the news, did we know that this is a major crisis."

Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) said although the average water distribution ratio had decreased from 4,324.79 million litres per day to 4,364.10 million litres, the rate of clean water production from water treatment plants in the state still stood at a maximum volume of 4,371 million litres per day.

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