Would you like to enjoy a cup of premium coffee right beside the Klang river with your loved ones? How about bringing some of your overseas colleagues for Happy Hour right beside the Gombak rivers? There’s no need to show me your face. I know, I have the same idea. Answer is ‘of course not.’ Nevertheless, as they say, never say never because if everything that is being planned could come true, one day in the distant future this may come true. There’s no need to look too far. Malacca river is one such project which can be said to be quite successful. I have even taken my breakfast with my family on one of those shops which is fronting the Malacca river. No worries, everything went well and there were no foul smell or dirty plastic bags floating around etc. However, the Klang and Gombak rivers are many times longer than the Malacca river.
As per a local English daily, the River of Life (ROL) will have a finalised project study soon. The goal is to drive towards economic investments into the areas surrounding the river corridor once the river cleaning and beautification process is done. With this study, value of the land as well as how best to use the lands would be submitted to the government. Around the ROL, there were 108 lots identified with a potential value of RM4 billion. These would most probably be sold once the river clean up has been done. Studies have shown that land value around rivers would appreciate once the rivers are rehabilitated. The sale of all these land would help ROL to recoup the cost of cleaning them. Let’s hope they have plans for maintenance too because without the maintenance mechanism, very soon it will be back to square one.
ROL began in 2012 and the river quality was supposed to be raised from Class III and Class IV (not suitable for body contact) to Class IIB (suitable for body contact and recreational usage) by year 2020. 110km in total length and it covers Sungai Kling from its upstream until its confluence with Sungai Kerayong, as well as its tributaries, the Gombak, Batu, Bunus, Jinjang and Kerayong rivers. It’s part of the government’s Economic Transformation Programme under the Greater Kuala Lumpur plan. After the cleaning, the beautification part will include 11 spots. They are Titiwangsa, Pekeliling, PWTC, Sime Darby loop, Dang Wangi, Raja Laut, Masjid Jamek, Railway Station, Brickfields, KL Sentral and Seputeh.
Though I am skeptical because of the size of the project, I would like to be optimistic that this will come to fruition in the near future. I have been to Holland, Singapore, Japan and many other countries and have seen how their rivers are clean and there are lots of economic activities right around them. Awaiting that one day when I have a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a croissant with butter and kaya. Haha. Yes, western plus Malaysian. Happy anticipating.
written on 2 March 2015
Next suggested article: 80% of developers for Greater KL, Water Shortage, Project Approvals