Master plan in works after flash flood at Eco Park — Lee

MIRI: Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), Department of Works, Miri City Council (MCC), Land and Survey Department and a private consultancy are in the process of completing an in-depth study to address the flash flood that hit Eco Park at Jalan Sze Chuan 2.

The heavy downpour with exceptional rainfall on Dec 1 flooded the housing area with waters as deep as 1.5 metres.

On this concern, Assistant Minister of Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin stressed it was crucial for the area to have a master plan for a long term solution to address the issue.

We need to have a long term master plan not only to solve the flash flood issue at Eco Park but to ensure the incident will not recur, he stated when chairing a dialogue with various agencies on the flash flood issue in Eco Park at Miri Resident Offices meeting hall yesterday.

Lee, who is also Senadin assemblyman, said the relevant agencies are now working on the details of a master plan for a long term solution to be proposed to higher authorities.

He explained that the flash flood was due to exceptional rainfall that caused the water to rise rapidly while development projects could have slowed down the runoff. This is because land development in the area is still in the approval process.

Earlier, Lee was briefed by the agencies on immediate action which has been taken accordingly.

The MCC will ensure drainage is clear of vegetation so water can be discharged smoothly.

Housing developers have been asked to expedite drainage works and to also ensure that drainage still under construction is free from sediment or vegetation that could clog up drains.

At the same time, DID and the developer have already built two detention ponds to slow down water flow and to control the water level in the drains.

The developer in the downstream area is currently carrying out drain connection works to Interhill as an immediate remedy and are expected to be completed soon.

There is a plan to build another three detention ponds at the area of Miri Airport, 20th battalion of Malay Royal Army Regiment and a lot next to the Eco Park 2 housing area.

However, there is a need for them to consult the Department of Civil Aviation if building the detention pond at Miri Airport.

It is because they fear the pond will attract bird population which may pose a danger to aircraft.

Two high pressure pumps have been readied to discharge excess water in the affected area.

For a long term solution, JKR Miri and DID Miri have suggested building a six-metre wide, deep earth drain at Airport Road and also to construct another two main discharge outlets heading to the sea.

Also present at the meeting were Miri Resident Antonio Kahti Galis, deputy resident of Miri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf and deputy Miri mayor Mohd Chee Kadir.