KUANTAN: Additional emergency works related to floods in Janda Baik, Bentong, with an estimated cost of RM1 million, is expected to begin next week and be completed within three months, said Environment and Water Ministry (KASA) secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang.

During a visit to the affected areas today, Zaini said the flash floods were caused by heavy rain in the upper reaches of the river basin and the shallow river bed around Janda Baik due to sedimentation caused by major floods in December 2021.

“The shallow condition of the river had caused Sungai Benus, Sungai Cheringin and Sungai Chemperoh to overflow while villages situated in low-lying areas and near the river are another reason why residences and resorts are easily flooded,” he said in a statement here today.

On Wednesday, five villages namely Kampung Sum-Sum, Kampung Cheringin, Kampung Chemperoh, Kampung Lampin and Kampung Pulau Santap were hit by flash floods with an average depth of between 0.5 to 1.0-metre due to unusually heavy rainfall of 88 millimetres for three hours from 4 am.

Zaini said following the floods last year, KASA Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had instructed the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to expedite the implementation of work to deepen the river there, with dredging started last March.

One of the projects has been completed while two more are scheduled for completion this June.

“DID also plans to build flood retaining walls (bunds) at stretches identified along the river as well as telemetry stations (for ‘in situ’ data collection) and flood warning stations upstream of Janda Baik,” he said.

For long-term planning, Zaini said the ministry through DID was speeding up the Sungai Bentong Flood Mitigation Plan and Environmentally-Friendly Drainage Master Plan (PISMA) projects, which were expected to be implemented in 2023 with an allocation of over RM400 million. — Bernama