The National Water Service Commission (SPAN), which regulates water companies in Malaysia, has approved construction of a bypass pipe to resolve the problem of water shortages in Ampang, Pandan, and Cheras in Selangor state.
These areas have experienced water disruptions since December 29 due to a pumphouse break down.
Work on the bypass pipeline has already begun, and SPAN CEO Datuk Teo Yen Hua said he expected that the work will be finished by January 14, 2013.
“The situation will be back to normal except for high areas where airlocks may happen.”
An MP for Ampang, Zuraida Kamaruddin, has obtained clarification that although supply will be restored, capacity will not be restored to normal levels.
On January 10, Zuraida visited the head office of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Selangor’s sole water provider, along with residents and members from the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council, to present a memorandum and meet with Syabas CEO, Datuk Ruslan Hassan.
At the meeting, which took just over an hour, Syabas confirmed that the repairs would help alleviate the water supply issue, but would not solve it completely. Syabas estimated that it has already successfully reduced the number of people affected from 100,000 on December 28, 2012 to “only 28,000.”
Zuraida requested an apology from Syabas for its negligence over the water shortage. “As the sole provider of water in Selangor, we want assurance from Syabas that such incidents will not be repeated.”
She also suggested that a compensation fund be created for residents affected by the water crisis, as many are low- to middle-income earners.
Syabas was unable to guarantee that the water issue would be rectified in time for the Chinese New Year season in February 2013.