KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 – The problem of low water pressure experienced by residents of Taman Sri Rampai, Setapak here, for the past two weeks, has led to the discovery of water theft by the developer of a 35-storey apartment block in the area. The irresponsible act was detected through an operation carried out by the Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), Wednesday.
The company was found to have installed and used an illegal water supply connection for the past three years, according to Syabas Corporate Communications head Amin Lin Abdullah. He said after receiving public complaints regarding the problem, Syabas conducted an investigation, and found that the company’s monthly water bill was 50 per cent less.
“The investigation also found that there were two water supply connections installed near the construction site there, including one which did not pass through a meter, and the action had caused Syabas to incur losses of about RM44,000,” he told reporters after the operation here Wednesday.
“In the meanwhile, the chlorine tests also showed that the water supply stolen was treated water belonging to Syabas, and until today, 16,189 cubic metres (of water) had been used for the construction, and kongsi houses for the construction workers in the area,” he said.
Amin Lin said following the operation, a notice of demand was issued by Syabas to the contractor to claim damages for the unauthorised use of the water supply. In the meantime, he said Syabas had estimated damages claims of RM1.8 million from January till May 24 (Wednesday), resulting from 2,034 complaints involving the theft of water around Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor.
During this period, a total of 261 notices had been issued to offenders, with 172 notices for offenders in the domestic sector, and 89 notices for offenders in the commercial sector, he said. Throughout last year, Syabas received 8,302 complaints involving water theft, with estimated damages claims of RM7.3 million, and issued 997 demand notices.
Meanwhile, SPAN Communications and Consumer Affairs Unit senior executive Loh Pit Mui said legal action would also be taken against the developer. If convicted, they could be charged under Section 123(1) of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Act 655) which provides for a fine not exceeding RM100,000, or imprisonment of up to one year or both, she said.