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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Use TNB's generators to avoid water cuts

Imagine not taking your bath, cooking and using water for all necessities for four days.
It’s absolutely unfair to four million people in the Klang Valley, who will be affected by water cuts for four days.
This was reflected in a random Twitter poll taken this morning (Monday) by BFM radio station.
In the poll, 82 percent of the people said the water cut was unjustified, while 18 percent commented it was necessary for maintenance work. An overwhelming number of people are not happy with the water cuts.
A former Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) substation engineer said that the solution was to install mobile back-up power generating units to continue supplying power to the water concessionaires.
“This is sheer incompetence on the TNB not to provide generating sets to avert the water disruption in a fair manner to the customers.
“It is shocking TNB can provide back-up mobile power generating units for political events and rock concerts but fail to help four million customers. Perhaps, TNB, Syabas and Selangor state leaders are not seeing eye-to-eye to help customers,” the engineer said.
It is understandable that urgent maintenance at the Bukit Badong substation, scheduled on Sept 23, was delayed until today due to insistence by Selangor water companies and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).
Even SPAN had not raised the usefulness of mobile generating sets to avert the water crisis. Consumer movements and the mass media have failed to question and come up with solutions.
In a multi-racial society we know the need for water and nobody will suspect this is a sabotage against Christmas revellers.
A way to punish Selangor gov’t?
BMF in its breakfast talk show also raised the comment by its listeners on whether this is a way to punish the Selangor government over Syabas. “There could be so many speculations on the motive,” the announcer commented.
If water tankers can provide relief water to affected zones that have no water supply due to the low level of water in the service reservoir, why can’t TNB provide mobile generating units to the water concessionaires?
Consumers can request for relief water supply by sending an SMS, “TANKER name and Address” to 15300.
An academician questioned the media’s responsibility for not speaking up for consumers, but just to say: “Widespread water disruptions is unavoidable.”
“Newspapers lack matured writers to tackle current consumer issues in a fair minded way,” said a journalism professor in an international university.
While New Straits Times pointed out that water authorities must take the initiative to upgrade their back-up electrical generators (gensets) in order to avoid water supply disruption for electrical maintenance works in the future at the plants.
TNB chief corporate officer Wira Roslan Ab Rahman said the suggestion would be discussed with water authorities to minimise the impact of electrical maintenance works.
A fine example is this water disruption in Klang Valley. The onus to have gensets with the right capacity is on water authorities such as Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) and Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash).
Roslan said that the existing gensets at the water treatment plants do not have the capacity to provide sufficient power to keep plants running, which explains the water disruption.
Now, the Selangor government must wake up to ask why emergency generating sets were not provided to avert the water cuts.
Never mind that the authorities or TNB did not provide gensets. But why didn’t the water concessionaires rent private generating sets?

During the MH370 crisis, overseas television networks rented private companies gensets to broadcast news from Malaysia. So, concessionaires, why are you all not doing this to help with a smooth water supply?
In this technological age there is a solution to every problem. But, if electricity companies, leaders and politicians are not seeing eye-to-eye, then four million people will have to suffer from the four-day water cuts.

M KRISHNAMOORTHY worked at TNB's head office from 1969 to 1983. He now freelances for overseas TV networks and newspapers.- Mkini

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