Where did drainage money go, says ex-deputy minister - EDISI SIASAT

Where did drainage money go, says ex-deputy minister

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Where did drainage money go, says ex-deputy minister
After the floods: half of the 40,000 tonnes of waste cleaned up in Selangor came from Taman Sri Muda, the government has said.

Where did drainage money go, says ex-deputy minister

PETALING JAYA: A former deputy minister has questioned whether local councils have put to proper use the funds they received from developers of new projects.

Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah, who was deputy minister for housing and local government from 2018 to 2020, said the authorities must answer whether the funds were allocated properly.

In accordance with the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974, developers are required to pay development charges to local city councils, with a certain amount intended to maintain and upgrade existing infrastructure such as drainage.

“The councils are supposed to pump the money paid by developers back into the infrastructure to ensure that everything runs smoothly,” said Raja Kamarul, an architect by profession.

“Is the government doing so? We have to ask the authorities what happened to the development charges for all the projects that were built. Did the local authorities channel the money into upgrading infrastructure to ensure no flooding happens?”

Development charges are spread out

However, architect and town planner Ou Yang Chow Min told FMT that the fees paid to local councils are distributed among departments such as drainage and irrigation, fire and rescue, and water service providers.

Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah.

The portion which is distributed to DID is meant as compensation for the department’s expertise in providing guidelines for drainage systems.

While developers must comply with DID guidelines to obtain approvals for their drainage systems, the responsibility for maintaining these systems falls on the local councils or the DID, he said.

Kota Kemuning assemblyman V Ganabatirau said DID has to utilise the funds properly as they are the agency tasked with handling the country’s urban drainage and stormwater management.

Tens of thousands of his constituents were trapped by flood waters in areas such as Taman Sri Muda in Shah Alam, which was the worst-hit area by the floods in Selangor.

“DID is in charge of designing the entire (drainage) blueprint to control the flow of water within urban environments to ensure it makes it to the rivers,” he said. “Its duty is to ensure water is managed properly and floods do not occur, which is why the funds are given to the department.”

FMT previously reported that a legal loophole allowing new projects to use existing drainage systems may have led to the massive floods in Taman Sri Muda, where the local drainage systems had been overloaded with water from nearby areas.

Highlighting the effect of the floods in Taman Sri Muda, housing and local government minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican said on Saturday that half of the 40,000 metric tonnes of waste cleaned up after the floods in Selangor came from the township.

FMT has contacted DID and the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA), but both have declined to comment.

Where did drainage money go, says ex-deputy minister

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