KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 – Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) has successfully recovered 87% of the RM8 billion outstanding sewerage bills that have accumulated since 1997, acting IWK chief operating officer Mohamed Haniffa Abdul Hamid said. He said this was due to the consortium’s proactive efforts to enhance public awareness on the importance of sewerage services through various programmes, including by meeting with the customers, sending reminder letters and organising awareness campaign.
“The IWK does not simply take stern action, which would cause inconveniences to the customers, but I want to stress that paying the bills promptly is very important,” he said. Mohamed Haniffa said although IWK was deluged with high amount of outstanding bills, the national sewerage company was able to stay active for more than 20 years, thanks to the efficiency of its management and staff.
He said the fact that IWK had managed to continue providing its service with a very low domestic charge of RM8 a month also proved the government commitment in putting the people’s first. “Imagine how little we have been charging the customers for the past 20 years. Not once that the rate was reviewed. This clearly shows that the government has played a big role, especially by providing allocations for IWK operations,” he said.
Mohamed Haniffa said the consortium had always ensured that its public sewage treatment plants and public sewerage pipeline network were well-maintained in order to protect the environment and the public from water-borne diseases like typhoid, cholera and polio. He said IWK now has 3.6 million customers in 87 local authority areas, except in Johor Bahru and Pasir Gudang in Johor, as well in Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak.
“Of the total, 3.2 million are domestic consumers (800,000 living in low-cost housing areas), while the rest were non-domestic,” he said. IWK manages the operation and maintenance of 6,566 public sewage treatment plants, including 18,293km of underground pipes, by practising a modern and efficient sewerage system to ensure the sewage is treated before it is released into rivers and the sea, in line with its objectives to preserve water resources, protect public health and create a clean and safe environment. — Bernama