Monday, 11 June 2007

Not So SMART After All...

So. A little bird tells me that "Users of the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) will be charged a RM2 toll. The toll will be effective from 11.59pm on June 14, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said on Monday."

Well no, it wasn't a little bird, it was The Star.

And Samy must be taking a break from plagiarising poems to give us some bad news. Well, not all that bad, since I was convinced it was going to be set at RM4. In Bolehland, anything is possible.

Original Purpose of SMART tunnel

Studies had indicated that the critical stretch of Sungai Klang between Sg Klang /Sg Ampang confluence and Sg Gombak/ Sg Klang confluence to be flood prone areas and the fact that the river is further constrained by the Jalan Tun Perak Bridge (near Masjid Jamek) which is low, has resulted in the surrounding areas to experience flash floods.

The SMART system will be able to divert large volumes of flood water from entering this critical stretch via a holding pond, bypass tunnel and storage reservoir. This will reduce the flood water level at the Jalan Tun Perak Bridge, preventing spillover.

The Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) project was incepted by the project proponent, namely MMC Berhad-Gamuda Berhad Joint Venture, primarily to mitigate the recurring floods in the city of Kuala Lumpur, the financial, business and commercial hub of Malaysia. However, at the design stage of SMART, the dual purpose concept was born from the ingenuity of the project proponents and the motorway tunnel was integrated into the system to relieve traffic congestion at the main Southern Gateway to the city centre.

The motorway tunnel will provide an alternative route for motorists from the Southern Gateway, i.e. KL-Seremban Highway, Federal Highway, Besraya and East-West Link entering and exiting the city centre. This will reduce traffic congestion at the Southern Gateway leading to the city centre. The travel time will be reduced
significantly. For example from the Jalan Istana Interchange-Kampung Pandan the expected travel time is a mere four minutes compared to ten to fifteen minutes using the existing roads.

That's nice. But we haven't exactly solved the traffic problem and our flash floods are outdoing themselves.

From The Star:

THE Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel will not be able to put an end to the flash floods problem faced by many KLites, on its own.

While the Smart tunnel would help ease traffic congestion at the southern main gateway to the city centre near Sungei Besi and provide a storm water management system to mitigate flooding problems in Kuala Lumpur, it is only one of the two components needed to solve flash floods in the Klang Valley.

The other component includes the construction of some 200 dams and flood retention ponds.

The Smart tunnels and the ponds are supposed to complement each other and only then would the problem be solved.

This was what Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia director-general Datuk Paduka Keizrul Abdullah told reporters recently in an attempt to clarify and address issues that were raised by the public following last week's flash floods.

This SMART tunnel barely plays its part. I have travelled through this tunnel more times than I can count since it's on my way to work and back and have actually been caught in a jam a couple of times.

Inside the tunnel. Not very pleasant if you ask me. Not much of a view and the radio reception is horrible.

So they build this fancy little tunnel.. oh pardon me. Not all that little. It is the longest stormwater tunnel in South East Asia and second longest in Asia.

Is this a genuine project or another of our Bolehland icons?


Johnny Ong said...

i do use the tunnel everyday to go to work too. where do u work?

since u hav been using it, do u know if they were to flood the whole tunnel (in case of heavy rain fall), the whole tunnel wld be destroyed in terms of its fittings and claddings. and then cleaning wld be a major issue as well.

the escape staircase area wld require major repair if water gets into it.

Crankster said...

I live in Setapak and work in Cyberjaya. It's not as far as you think. :)


If there was a flood, I think it would be the cables that I'd be more worried about. They don't look completely waterproof.

Mass electrocution is not a very pleasant thought.