FIVE companies have been shortlisted to submit designs to rehabilitate and beautify the rivers running through Kuala Lumpur.
At the recent official launch of ‘River of Life International Masterplanning’ competition at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, KL mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail, said the five companies would be required to submit a masterplan that covers a stretch of 10.7km along the Klang and Gombak corridor.
Out of the 11 international and 11 Malaysian master planners invited to submit their credentials, three international and two local companies were selected.
They are Aecom (USA), Building Design Partnership (UK), Korea Engineering Consultants Corporation (South Korea), T R Hamzah and Yeang (Malaysia) and AJC Planning Consultants Sdn Bhd (Malaysia).
Participants will be given two months to prepare their plans and submit them by June 15.
The plans will then be put up for public viewing on June 28 and 29. A jury panel consisting of Malaysian and international master planners will judge the submissions.
“Members of the public will also be invited to vote on the submissions. Their votes will account for 20% of the total score,” said Ahmad Fuad.
The results are expected to be announced by July 15. The winner will be awarded a contract to start on Phase 1 of the project, which involves two out of 11 precincts identified for beautification works — Titiwangsa and Masjid Jamek.
Speaking to reporters after the launch, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) NKRA director Ahmad Suhaili Idrus said the ‘River of Life’ project was an Entry Point Project identified in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley National Key Economic Area under the Economic Transformation Programme.
He said the government had allocated a total of RM4bil for the project over a period of eight years, where RM2.9bil was for cleaning of rivers.
“Once the water quality has improved and the banks have been beautified, we can sell the land along the banks and use the income to cover the cost of cleaning and maintaining the rivers,” he said.
Drainage and Irrigation Department river basin and coastal zone management director Datuk Ong Siew Heng said a lot of work needed to be done to improve the water quality of the rivers from Class 3 (not suitable for body-contact) to Class 2 (suitable for recreational use).
“There must be a change in mentality in the people. We are trying to undo things that has been done previously. There would be no end to this if the people do not change their habits,” said Ong.
Ahmad Fuad said Kuala Lumpur City Hall would also do their part and step up enforcement to stop further pollution of the rivers.
“We have so far spent between RM20mil and RM30mil to clean up the rivers,” he said.