KOTA KINABALU: The state authorities should cease any plans for Likas lagoons to be reclaimed for industrial improvement as it will severely impression flood mitigation within the metropolis, says Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.
He stated the lagoons alongside Likas Bay had been for flood mitigation and any reclamation efforts would lead to severe flooding within the metropolis.
He stated floods have been more and more severe lately and urged the state authorities to forestall any reclamation work on the lagoons.
Yong, a nominated assemblyman and former chief minister, stated the lagoons have helped seize water runoff from the Likas ridge alongside Tuaran street and the Likas residential areas.
“The development of the Likas ridge, which was previously strictly restricted and controlled, has already caused a heavier runoff of rainfall,” he stated on Wednesday (Dec 29).
“(The area) needs huge drains to channel the water into the lagoons before it enters the open sea.
“During high tide, the floodgate at the Likas lagoons will shut and the pumps will remove the floodwater,” he said, adding that these mitigation measures were put in place after the devastating 1988 floods.
He said the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) should study the effects of zoning a tract of land in the area, about the size of 40 football fields, for commercial use.
He said this study was important to DID’s plans to improve drainage in Basin 8, which includes the Damai and Dah Yeh Villa areas.
“I am shocked to have found out recently that part of the Likas lagoons have been zoned for commercial development. This should not be allowed,” Yong stated.
“A search on the Land Department final week revealed that (this) was authorized to a non-public firm in 2000,” he added.
According to Yong, some residents at Kg Likas stated they had been anxious that Kg Likas and different areas can be flooded if the reclamation goes forward.
He identified that the latest floods in Taman Sri Muda in Selangor ought to function a stark reminder that there could be dire penalties if land meant for water retention is later reclaimed for improvement.