Johor Bahru's river-cleaning efforts in vain.
JOHOR BARU: Millions of ringgit pumped into river-cleaning projects in Johor over the past 10 years have literally gone down the drain.
Despite the massive funds from both the federal and state governments to deal with river pollution, there have been no obvious changes in the quality of the water, a research team from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) said.
UTM Water Research Alliance executive director Prof Dr Zulkifli Yusop blamed it on the lack of an integrated system to tackle the issue in the state.
“Currently, there are many different parties, including the Department of Environment, the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and local councils, involved in rivercleaning.
“When a problem occurs, they are often confused as to who is responsible. A separate body needs to be set up to tackle this issue efficiently,” he said.
He suggested the setting up of a river basin authority to deal with core problems of river pollution and the issue of damage control.
Meanwhile, state DID deputy engineer Jeffree Isa told a press conference here that about 11 tonnes of rubbish were collected each month from one major river passing through the city, the Sungai Skudai.
“We have rubbish traps along the river and find that most of the pollutants were discharged by residents along the river itself,” he said.
-The Star-By DESIREE TRESA GASPER-