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Help neighbourhoods impacted by internal hiccups in wake of latest water cut, PBAPP told

Jan 29, 2024

THE PENANG Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) must not only ensure that supply is being restored fully throughout the state but also help residential areas that face internal water distribution glitches due to faulty pumps or pipes, an opposition member said today.

PBAPP technicians and engineers, and not just tankers, must be deployed to neighbourhoods where water is still not being pumped effectively to each household unit, said Gerakan’s Penang Public Complaints Bureau head Andrew Ooi.

“They need to ease the concerns among consumers as the water woes in the state was triggered by PBAPP themselves. They have to be responsible fully,” he said.

The liability does not come with just ensuring that water supply is restored.

The water agency must ensure that each consumer has the same access as before, he added in an interview.

“We have to stop passing the buck. Water is an essential commodity.”

Ooi was commenting on complaints from some consumers in Bayan Lepas who were either not receiving water at all or experiencing low pressure in their taps.

Some have been seeing water trickling into their homes after supply was restored to 120,000 account holders over the weekend following an unscheduled disruption.

Ooi also reiterated that consumers who are affected by the constant water disruption, should be allowed to be given a rebate by the PBAPP, especially if they are forced to incur additional expenses when there is no proper supply.

“If there is no proper supply, consumers have to incur costs such as in hiring private plumbers, who are already short in numbers,” he said.

Ooi gave credit to PBAPP for deploying water tankers fast.

However, the issue is about ensuring that normal supply is made available and not just access to water by other temporary means.

Every home must have water running from the taps under normal pressure, he stressed.

Meanwhile, a PBAPP call centre staff referred questions on the matter to the technical division, stating that the call centre’s role is to just record the complaints.

The staff also urged complainants to come in person to see the technical division about supply issues rather than lodge complaints through the telephone.

By most accounts, PBAPP completed restoring supply to affected consumers, mostly in the island Southwest district this morning.

The focus is now on “Plan B”, which is to divert water from the troubled riverbed pipeline in Sg Perai which has ruptured a few times over the last few weeks, to a new dual pipelines measuring 600mm each above the surface.

Construction works are ongoing at a frantic pace to get the new connection ready by Tuesday, some 15 days ahead of schedule.

PBAPP has deferred a scheduled water cut for the same 120,000 account holders to 11.30pm on Tuesday to allow those affected more time to store water just in case the restoration process is impeded again.

PBAPP cited that it agreed to postpone the water cut following requests from consumers for more time to store water.

Plan B concerns connecting the two 600mm pipelines and the disconnection of the 1350mm pipeline from the Sungai Dua Water Main Treatment Plant. – The Vibes, January 29, 2024.

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