GEORGE TOWN, Nov 21 – Jalan Empangan Air Itam, the road leading to the Air Itam Dam, will remain closed to the public until further notice. The road closure is recommended by the Penang State geotechnical consultant, Dato’ Ir. Dr. Gue See Sew, to the Penang State Government for public safety reasons.
On 29/10/2016, a landslide occurred at a slope uphill of the road. The landslide deposited large boulders, soil, fallen trees and vegetation onto a 30-metre section of the 5.5-metre wide road. Although the road has been cleared, while the slope is still unstable yet.
After a site inspection on 16/11/2016 with Penang State Executive Councillor YB Lim Hock Seng, Air Itam State Assemblyman YB Wong Hon Wai and PBAPP Chief Operating Officer Ir. Chong Meng Choon, Dato’ Ir. Dr. Gue concluded that it was unsafe to re-open the road to the public until the landslide area is repaired and made good. In view of the potential threat of possible landslides in the future, Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) will follow Dato’ Ir. Dr. Gue’s advice to keep the road closed to the public.
Slope stabilisation works to be undertaken by the Kek Lok Si Temple
Yesterday, Penang Chief Minister YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng chaired a meeting on the proposed slope stabilisation works in Komtar. The meeting was attended by a trustee of the Kek Lok Si Temple, Dato’ Steven Ooi Teik Heng, together with Ir. Dr. Gue and representatives from PBAPP, MBPP and JKR.
During the meeting, Dato’ Ooi was informed that the landslide on 29/10/2016 originated and occurred at a slope on Lot 442, Mukim 14, DTL, belonging to the temple. This lot of land is located directly above Jalan Empangan Air Itam. As such, the slope stabilisation works should be undertaken by the Kek Lok Si Temple authorities. Accordingly, there is no clear indication yet on how long the temple authorities will take to complete the slope works.
PBAPP auxiliary police to control access for utility workers and residents
PBAPP auxiliary police personnel have been empowered to control access at the road. Special arrangements have been made to allow PBAPP, TNB and Telekom personnel to access the dam for work purposes, as well as for residents living above the dam area to travel to and from their homes. PBAPP reserves the right to close the road completely during storms and heavy rain.