By ILONA ANDREW
TUARAN: Some 18,000 residents of Taman Sri Rugading can now heave a sigh of relief as their water woes would soon be resolved with the expansion of water storage capacity that could store up to 60,000 gallons.
Minister of Infrastructure Development Datuk Anthony announced the good news after conducting an inspection, along with State Water Department (JANS) Director Datuk Amarjit Singh, at the residential area on Monday.
“At this moment, we managed to solve almost 100 percent of the issue here, but the problems with damaged tanks should be handled by the developer by replacing it with new ones.
“Based on my inspection today, water supply in certain units (of Taman Sri Rugading) have been restored since a few days ago and the supply is enough,” he told a press conference after the inspection.
He disclosed that the current water storage capacity which was designed several years ago could only cater to about 10,000 residents.
“I was understood that the consumers in this area have reached 17,000 to 18,000 and a new approach is surely needed to address this issue,” he stated.
With the increased numbers of water tank capacity and the storage capacity expansion of Telibong 2 Water Treatment Plant, Peter believed that water supplies will be sufficient not only to the residents of Rugading, but also to those in Kota Kinabalu area.
Currently, several areas are experiencing water disruptions as the capacity of current water plants are not able to accommodate to the increasing number of consumers in the state since the plants were designed about 10 to 15 years ago, he said.
To overcome the water woes, Peter mentioned that the construction of a dam in Papar would be the best long-term solution – up to 70 years.
“There is an urgent need to increase water supply capacity since the capacity of Telibong Water Treatment Plant can no longer accommodate to the current demand,” he said, also hoping that the project would be implemented by this year.
Commenting on the objection of the proposal voiced by the folks in Papar, the minister mentioned that the water issues faced by the people of Papar usually occur when salt water enters the inlet during high tide, hency why the Papar Dam project was proposed.
“The proposal to implement a dam in Papar is not new and was approved by the previous government; only that it is moved to another site,” he disclosed.