October 30, 2020 6:34 PM
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government said it will amend state laws to enhance the penalty for those who pollute the sources of water, including rivers.

Menteri Besar (MB) Amirudin Shari, in tabling the 2021 state budget, said these amendments would involve the Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (LUAS) Enactment 1999.

LUAS is the state agency tasked with managing water resources and state rivers.

“The frequent water pollution at both Sungai Selangor and Sungai Langat caused the water treatment plants to be shut down, thus cutting off water supply to residents.

“We will take several other measures, besides amending the LUAS enactment, such as using the ‘bioremediation’ for river conservation as well as the raw water treatment system method.”

He said the “bioremediation” method was a pilot project in Selangor.

Amirudin said both methods would be used at Sungai Sembah, Sungai Beranang and Sungai Buah as the three rivers are known as locations of water pollution.

Besides the amendments and the “bioremediation” pilot project, he said there would be stricter enforcement in ensuring houses and factories situated very near to rivers were moved or demolished as there was the high possibility of them polluting the rivers.

Sungai Rasau to be new source of water supply

The state government will also speed up proposals to make Sungai Rasau the new source for water supply so as to reduce the reliance on Sungai Selangor.

“We cannot rely too much on Sungai Selangor as the source. LUAS and Air Selangor are going to set up a team known as ‘Skuad Pantas’.

“This team will monitor the situation at water sources round the clock.

“This team will take river samples randomly and prepare their reports,” Amirudin said.

The MB also pointed out that the average water usage for one person in Selangor was 222 litres a day, and that the amount was higher than the recommendation by the World Health Organisation’s 165 litres a day.

“I urge the residents in the state to use water prudently,” Amirudin added.

Odour pollution in Sungai Selangor forced four water treatment plants to shut down on Oct 19.

The water cuts affected 1,292 areas in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat districts, affecting 1.19 million users.

Early last month, pollution in Sungai Gong, a tributary of Sungai Selangor, caused unscheduled water cuts for several days, affecting nearly 1.2 million households in 1,292 areas under the Klang Valley.

The state assembly will resume on Monday for debates on the budget.

Source: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2020/10/30/selangor-to-amend-laws-for-harsher-punishment-of-river-polluters/