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Ministry to probe why Sungai Lembing fire hydrants were allegedly closed at night

KUANTAN (Sept 5): The Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS) will seek clarification from Pengurusan Air Pahang Bhd (PAIP) on Sungai Lembing residents’ allegation that the water supply in the area including to fire hydrants was closed at night.

Deputy Minister Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji said the matter must be cleared as he considered the act of temporarily turning off the water supply of fire hydrants as unreasonable as fires can break out anytime.

“It is unreasonable to close the water supply to fire hydrants. If the water supply needs to be stopped at a certain time for a good reason, then the authorities should look for alternatives to ensure that hydrants are working all the time.

“What can be done is to build different waterways from residential areas, or if not, maybe a static tank should be built for firefighting purposes,” he told reporters after visiting fire victims who have been temporarily housed in the hall of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Sungai Lembing here yesterday.

He also handed over a personal contribution of RM10,000 to the victims.

He is of the opinion that water management in the state needs a standard operating procedure pertaining to fire hydrant management so that water supply problem does not happen in times of emergency.

On Aug 31, a fire razed 32 buildings in Sungai Lembing and claimed the lives of an elderly couple. The affected buildings comprised 20 two-storey shophouses, 11 terrace houses, and a library, all of which are believed to be about 100 years old.

The fire affected 53 people from 29 families.

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