SHAH ALAM, July 25 — Water utility Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) is underperforming as its treatment plants can produce an additional 463 million litres daily, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today.
He also said the true output capacity reserves were actually 11 per cent and will increase to 18 per cent after March 2013 when mitigation work is completed, adding the water reserves reported by Syabas to be at two per cent was inaccurate.
“The total production capacity for treated water, for all 34 water treatment plants is 4,807 million litres daily (MLD) in comparison to Syabas’ ability to distribute 4,371 MLD, which shows 436 MLD buffer.
“This shows that it is Syabas that is underperforming,” Khalid told reporters here today after chairing the state executive council meeting.
The mentri besar said the Mitigation Project I to be completed March 2013 will increase treated water production to 5,139 MLD, allowing an increase of 332 MLD or 768 MLD depending on Syabas’ distribution capabilities.
Khalid pointed out that these findings were proof that Syabas had failed to adhere to their responsibilities to supply treated water to consumers as agreed upon in the Water Privatisation Agreement 2004.
“This failure strengthens our argument and plans of the state government to step in and manage Syabas with the intent to fix all weaknesses, which includes a recommendation to sack both the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Syabas.
“I ask that the local councils along with a few executive councillors meet with the people to find a solution to their water problems, including bringing water tanks to these areas which have been facing water supply disruptions for years,” he said.
Khalid added that the Selangor government was consistent in its stance that the water issue can be solved holistically if the state takes over the water industry from all concession firms in order to offer a more efficient water supply at reasonable prices as hoped for through the Water Service Industry Act (WSIA) 2006.
He announced last week that he would use clause 32 of the concession agreement between the state, federal government and Syabas to step in and take over water distribution operations.
State Secretary Datuk Khusrin Munawi also said only a few locations were experiencing a water supply shortage, particularly in Cheras, as supply comes from the Sungai Langat water treatment plant.
“After four meetings with former employees of PUAS and also the state economic planning unit with Syabas, we have come to find that the water crisis depicted by Syabas is not as critical as they portray,” Khusrin told reporters here today, referring to Perbadanan Urus Air Selangor (PUAS) which has been taken over by Syabas.
Khusrin, who leads the state water monitoring committee which has been observing Syabas daily operations since July 18, was briefing the state executive council at its weekly meeting today.
“Other areas are not experiencing any difficulties as portrayed by Syabas in the media. And there is no such shortage in water supply,” he added.