PETALING JAYA (Aug 8): The federal government will proceed with the tender process for the controversial Langat water treatment plant 2 despite the Selangor state government's refusal to grant the "development order" for the project.
This was decided by the Special Cabinet Committee on the Selangor Water Issue, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, at its second meeting on Aug 2, according to a statement from the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry on Wednesday.
"The committee has decided that the tender process for the Langat 2 water treatment plant will go ahead even without the development order from the relevant local authorities. To date, the Selangor state government has been preventing the relevant local authorities from issuing the development order for the implementation of the project," said the ministry.
The need for the RM8.65 billion Langat plant, to facilitate the transfer of raw water from Pahang to Selangor, is among a number of water-related issues where the federal and Selangor governments do not see eye to eye.
The federal government insists that the construction of the plant is key to preventing a water crisis in the state by 2014. The Pakatan Rakyat-led state government, on the other hand, has strongly rejected the project, arguing that a cheaper alternative would be to upgrade existing treatment plants in Selangor.
The special cabinet committee previously said that the project would continue despite the state government's opposition.
Muhyiddin had then said that the tender process would take place later this month and urged the Selangor government to cooperate and give the go-ahead for the project.
The ministry, in its statement, said the plant has to be built as soon as possible as the federal government had to fork out an additional RM606 million for mitigation plans to avoid a water crisis in 2014.
"It is also the best option financially, technically and socially for the residents of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya to have sufficient water supply until 2020," it said.
It added that the Selangor government can go ahead with its plans to restructure the state's water industry as long as it abides by the Water Services Industry Act 2006.
However, the federal government could not interfere in the issue concerning Selangor's desire to take over Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) as the water concessionaire is a private entity.
Work on the Langat 2 project started in April this year but hit a snag after the Selangor government refused to grant approval for the land for the remaining 15 lots required for the plant.
The Selangor government and Syabas have also been at loggerheads, with the state rejecting the latter's bid to raise water tariffs and
Syabas claiming that a tariff hike is crucial to improving its services. The matter is now in court.