Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has urged the Penang state government to investigate and take immediate action to address the recurrent problem of mud-flows in Bayan Baru.
SAM regrets that although the problem of mud-flows here has been occurring for more than 10 years till now no effective action has been taken.
Recently on 24 July 2019, thousands of road users and businesses in the area were affected by mud-flows after a heavy downpour. SAM’s survey found that residual mud on the roads around Bayan Baru had led to serious traffic congestion.
Now the situation has become worse because the dust from the dried mud is a nuisance to the public. SAM is concerned that if this issue is not addressed soon it could affect the safety and health of the public.
SAM, therefore, urges the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) to comprehensively investigate the cause and source of mud-flows in this area and in particular from construction sites.
Soil erosion due to hill clearing in Sungai Ara could be one of the factors that had caused the mud-flows in Bayan Baru. SAM calls for an immediate stop to the activities to prevent environmental damage and rehabilitation measures are taken urgently.
Another contributor to the mud-flows could be the narrow drainage system that has failed to accommodate the flow of water when it rains. The drainage system must be rectified so that the overflow and the threat of mud-flows in the future can be prevented.
SAM asserts that the Penang state government, MBPP, JPS and other departments and agencies involved should pay serious attention to this matter. We need proper planning and strict enforcement of existing laws to resolve the issue of mud-flows in this area.