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KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 14 -- The water supply crisis in August which affected 28,700 account holders of Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (SATU) in Kuala Nerus and Kuala Terengganu was due to erosion on an 80-metre length of pipe installed in the riverbed of Sungai Terengganu, the Terengganu State Assembly was told today.
State Infrastructure, Public Utilities and Green Technology Committee chairman Dr Mamad Puteh said the company contracted to carry out repair works told him that the pipe had lost support due to erosion and was left hanging in the riverbed, resulting in a leakage.
“The pipe installation project was implemented in 2003 and completed in 2006. At that time, the pipe was planted between 1.5 metres and two metres in the ground. But what happened this year was the pipe lost its support because of erosion over an 80-metre stretch,” he said during the question-and-answer session at the assembly.
Hishammuddin Abdul Karim (PAS-Tepoh) had asked about reports on pipe burst in the riverbed of Sungai Terengganu which occurred in early August.
The first water supply crisis, which affected 150,000 residents in Kuala Nerus district and part of Kuala Terengganu, lasted 12 days from Aug 2 when the main pipe at the bottom of Sungai Terengganu burst. The water was restored in stages on Aug 13.
On Aug 23, however, the same pipe burst again, and repair work is expected to take 20 days. The expected date of completion for the repair is Sept 12 as the damage sustained this time is worse than the first incident.
Meanwhile, Dr Mamad said that 12 sand mining operators had been approved to carry out dredging activities at a distance of about five kilometres from the area where the pipe was installed.
“Of the total, seven active sand mining operators were ordered to stop work after the water supply crisis,” he said, adding that investigations being conducted by a special committee would be completed on Sept 24.
He said when the sand suction applications were approved earlier, there was no notification from any government agency stating that water pipes were planted in the area.
When met outside the assembly hall, Dr Mamad said the state government has instructed all relevant agencies to gather information on pipes installed at riverbeds throughout the state to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.
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