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Clean Water For More Kelantan Homes

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PUTRAJAYA – More households in Kelantan will get clean water come 2019 with fewer incidents of water shortage, thanks to a collaboration between the Federal and state government.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the aim was to see at least 75% of Kelantan’s population enjoy clean water supply, from the present 60%.

The quantity of treated water to be produced by Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB) must also increase from the current 420 million litres daily to 800 million litres in 2019 while non-water revenue is to be reduced from 48% to 35%.

“Putrajaya is happy with the co-operation given by the Kelantan government on the restructuring exercise. This working relationship goes to show that we are putting the people’s interest and welfare first.

“We work beyond politics to ensure the wellbeing of the people of Kelantan,” said Ongkili after the signing of an agreement on the restructuring of Kelantan’s water services yesterday.

The signatories were the federal and Kelantan governments as well as AKSB and Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB).

Present to witness the signing were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob.

To date, water operators in five other states – Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Penang and Selangor –have migrated under the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Wasia).

Dr Ongkili said under the agreement, PAAB would take over AKSB’s liability amounting to RM604mil to be paid off over a period of 45 years with the company’s land and water-related assets used as collateral.

PAAB would also provide capital expenditure so that AKSB could upgrade its assets and build new infrastructures to improve its services, he added.

Meanwhile, Ahmad said the state government would strive to ensure that the KPIs were met.

“More importantly, we want to ensure that more people in the state will have access to clean pipe water and that supply of treated water will no longer be an issue in Kelantan. This may not happen overnight but we believe this can be achieved,” he said. – The Star Online

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