By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH
The area, measuring some 434ha and located along the Sengkang Kampung Teratai road near Bukit Gambir, was opened in 2006 but has remained unproductive due to flooding.
However, the situation is set to improve with the state government planning to dredge three canals across the land to drain the floodwater into Sungai Sengkang.
State Unity, Human Resource, Technology and Innovation Committee chairman M. Asojan said the state had agreed to allocate RM100,000 to expedite the dredging works.
“We have discussed the state’s plan with the Muar Drainage and Irrigation Department officer Hayal Atan. The department agreed to dig the canals and plans to start work next month,” he told the land owners at a dialogue held at the land recently.
Asojan, who is also Gambir assemblyman, said the canals named Sungai Datuk Ngah Satu, Sungai Datuk Ngah Dua and Parit Zakariah, would also be maintained on a regular basis.
The area, located at the foot of Gunung Ledang and named Kampung Tanah Paya Datuk Ngah, was fertile and suitable for oil palm plots.
The department has also planned to deepen Sungai Sengkang to speed up water flow from the area into Sungai Ring, which supplied water to the padi fields at Kampung Sawah Ring.
Earlier, the land owners’ representative Kapt (B) Mohd Yasir Mohed said out of 272 owners, 43 had tried to cultivate the land but only 19 succeeded.
“The land will be under 1.2m of water every time after heavy rain and this frustrates the owners who cannot cultivate their plots,” he said, adding the 19 who succeeded now earned about RM1,000 per month for every hectare of plot planted with oil palm trees.
SOURCE: THE STAR, JANUARY 10, 2011