Delayed works on the first phase of the flood mitigation project at Sungai Jelok, Kajang was found to be among the causes for the flash floods at the town last Friday.
Hydrology and Water Resources director Hanapi Mohamad Noor said the project was hindered by failure on the part of the Kajang Municipal Council to relocate 21 shops operating at the river bank.
“We started the project one year ago but had to stop halfway because of the shops located 200 metres from the project site.
“The council was advised to relocate them. But until now no action had been taken,” he said at a media conference in conjunction with the Third International Conference on Managing Rivers in the 21st Century, yesterday.
Hanapi said the project was scheduled to have been completed in six months.
According to him, indiscriminate dumping of rubbish into the river also contributed to the flash floods.
“This caused water flow blockage, more so as the bridge is merely about two meters above the water level,” he said.
Heavy downpour for two hours at an average rate of 80mm flooded Kajang in 1.5 metres of water. Meanwhile, Drainage and Irrigation director-general Datuk Ahmad Husaini Sulaiman said the department was ready for the impending floods at the end of this year.
He said preparations included setting up a flood forecast and warning system at river watersheds in low-lying and flood-prone areas.