Selangor Journal

Selangor Ruler commends state government’s move to absorb water tariff hike

By Danial Dzulkifly

SHAH ALAM, Feb 27 — Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj has applauded the state government’s effort to expand its free water initiative, known as the Skim Air Darul Ehsan (Sade), following the recent increase in water tariffs.

In the royal address at the opening of the First Meeting of the Second Term of the 15th Selangor State Legislative Assembly today, His Royal Highness highlighted the significance of such efforts in alleviating the people’s burden.

The decision to absorb the increased cost of water for the needy, schools, and places of worship reflects the government’s commitment to caring for and assisting its citizens.

“I welcome the effort and initiative of the state government to mitigate the impact of the tariff hike on the people, whereby it will absorb and bear the increased costs of water for Sade beneficiaries, schools, as well as mosques, surau, and places of worship, for the benefit of the people.

“The state is expected to bear a higher estimated amount of RM37.7 million (in subsidy) annually, but this effort will alleviate my people’s burden and is a manifestation of the government’s care and concern,” said the Ruler.

Previously, in December last year, the state government announced it would absorb the increased cost of water usage for over one million consumers following the tariff adjustment announced by the National Water Services Commission, which came into effect on February 1 this year.

On January 28, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said the state is targeting 500,000 applicants for its Sade initiative, with the current number of eligible beneficiaries for the free water scheme standing below 300,000.

Sultan Sharafuddin also stressed the importance of the government ensuring a clean water supply for the people in the state by prioritising major water-related infrastructure projects and improving water distribution systems effectively.

This includes implementing the Raw Water Guarantee Scheme (SJAM) and the Sungai Rasau Water Supply Scheme.

“SJAM encompasses all of our water management plans, including flood water, which can be used as a water source for purposes such as treatment by Air Selangor or for activities like agriculture or fisheries.

Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj delivers the royal address during the opening of the First Meeting of the Second Session of the 15th State Legislative Assembly in Shah Alam, on February 27, 2024. — Picture by AHMAD ZAKKI JILAN/SELANGORKINI

“This project also involves constructing pumping infrastructure in Sungai Selangor and Sungai Semenyih, which are expected to be completed by the end of this year and operational by mid-2025,” said His Royal Highness.

Meanwhile, the Sungai Rasau project will serve as a new water source capable of producing approximately 1,400 million litres of treated water per day, according to Sultan Sharafuddin.

“This involves two main components, namely the development of a water source known as the Sungai Klang-Sungai Rasau dual-function retention pond for flood mitigation and raw water supply, and water treatment plants.”

“The latter includes developing a distribution pipe system, water tanks, and other related infrastructure, which will be done in two stages, each with a capacity of 700 million litres daily,” said Sultan Sharafuddin.

His Royal Highness also drew attention to the challenge of maintaining water lines in the Klang Valley, with 30,500 kilometres of pipes supplying water to Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

“Currently, many incidents of pipe bursts occur due to ageing pipes, excessive pressure on pipes, and vandalism.

“To upgrade the pipe network, the state government has committed to doubling the pipe replacement rate from 150km per year to 300km. I urge all relevant parties to cooperate in expediting this process,” said the Ruler.

In his address, Sultan Sharafuddin also acknowledged the drought expected to hit the nation starting next year, brought upon by the El Nino phenomenon, and urged the public to practise good water conservation at home.

“I am grateful that Selangor is blessed with prosperity and sufficient clean water supply. However, there should be preparations to face climate change challenges like drought seasons.

“Awareness of prudent water usage remains low, resulting in an estimated high domestic consumption rate of 215 litres per person daily. Therefore, I urge all citizens to use water wisely and responsibly on a daily basis to contribute to our water reserves,” said His Royal Highness.

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