GEORGE TOWN – The DAP-led Penang government has been told not to rely solely on the federal government to implement flood mitigation plan (RTB) projects to overcome flood woes in the state.
Penang Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman (pic) said the state government should instead cooperate with the federal government, especially when it involved the allocation of funds for the implementation of the RTB projects.
“Yes, the state government had also set aside certain allocation for the RTB projects and it is hoped that it will continue. Do not place the burden to implement 13 RTB projects solely on the federal government.
“The state government has its own funds as well as proceeds from the sale of state government land. They should allocate some for RTB projects in Penang. For example, they can take 10% of the RM46 billion allocation for the Penang Transport Master Plan to implement RTB projects.
Great public transport planning will be useless if there were floods,” he told a news conference here today.
Nevertheless, he said the federal government was prepared to consider the RM1 billion allocation for RTB projects in Penang depending on the country’s financial position.
Zainal Abidin said the Penang Federal Action Council had set up a committee comprising representatives from relevant agencies including the Department of Irrigation and Drainage to look into the list of priorities involving the 13 flood mitigation projects in the state.
“Of course, the federal government cannot afford to allocate RM1 billion in one go, and it will be distributed in stages, but we do not know how many stages are there. What we need is the priority list on which project that we can propose and certify for serious consideration by the federal government first,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak during his visit to Penang on Nov 7 announced a RM1 billion aid to implement 13 flood mitigation projects in the state. – Bernama