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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Selangor set to end water rationing this week

Close to two months of taps often running dry, the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) has agreed to stop water rationing in the state, with the announcement expected to be made this week.

Sources told Malaysiakini that the decision was made at the (MTES) meeting yesterday, chaired by Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (left).

The news comes as the Selangor executive council (exco) cancelled a press conference, which was to announce the "good news" on water rationing, scheduled at 2.30pm today.

The press conference is to be held tomorrow.

According to sources privy to the details of the meeting in Shah Alam, it was Khalid himself who proposed ending the water rationing despite the water level in the Sungai Selangor dam still being below 50 percent.

"Khalid said the decision is for the sake of Selangor residents," one source said.

However, it is understood that the proposal to stop rationing was also opposed by several quarters that attended the meeting.

Khalid on Twitter today said there are "positive" developments on the issue, which has affected about 2.9 million users in the Klang Valley.

"For your information, an important announcement on water rationing scheduled for 2.30pm today has been postponed to tomorrow.

"God willing, it will be positive. #DemiRakyat," he wrote on Twitter.

Before this, the Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) had said that rationing should continue until the level at the Sungai Selangor dam is more than 55 percent.

However, Khalid said that drastic measures have been taken in the hope that levels would go up with the help of high-pressure pumps and prolonged rain since last week.

The dam, which feeds water to 60 percent of Klang Valley users, is now at 40.08 percent.

The state exco last week approved RM10 million for the pumping project.

Khalid earlier said that if the drastic measures failed, Selangor would have only 29 days before the crisis hits even more dire levels.

Among measures to be taken is to pump water to other parts of nearby rivers and from former mining ponds into the Sungai Selangor dam, which has not received much rainfall.

However, DAP's Klang MP Charles Santiago has cautioned that the mining ponds contain toxic water contaminated by heavy metals, which the water treatment plants cannot eradicate.

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