By Lisa J. Ariffin
PUTRAJAYA, July 23 — There will be no water rationing in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya at present, but utility firm Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) must have ready a back-up plan to overcome shortages in some areas, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
The deputy prime minister moved to assure residents in the three areas after Selangor’s sole distribution company had warned two weeks ago that it might have to start rationing water due to near zero reserves at the Selangor’s water treatment plants.
“So no catuan (rationing) but selected areas where (there is a shortage) of water and water (is) not forthcoming, Syabas will supply water so consumers will have no problem,” Muhyiddin (picture) told reporters after chairing a meeting of the special Cabinet committee on Selangor’s water issue here.
“Overall, we feel there must be a contingency plan to overcome the water problem in these three districts. Some treatment plants have overloaded (their) capacity... some plants work 24 hours... if that’s the case maybe face problems in the future," he said.
Muhyiddin also said that there will be a meeting with Syabas in the next few days to discuss the contingency plans.
Critics of Syabas and its parent company Puncak Niaga were quick to question whether the water crisis was “manufactured” and a ploy to hasten construction of the RM3.6 billion Langat 2 water treatment plant which they speculate Puncak Niaga would be eyeing to operate.
And while the state, private water concessionaires and the federal government play the blame game over the purported impending water shortage, the war of words has left Selangor and KL residents worrying about their water supply which could become an election issue depending on who they believe is responsible for any cuts.
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