Penang Development Corporation (PDC) today said the Prangin Bypass was built to divert drain water from the canal as part of the S10 Flood Mitigation Project for the inner city.
PDC Senior Deputy General Manager Datuk Yeoh Lean Huat said the diversion was a big part of the flood mitigation to allow for better water flow out to the sea especially during heavy bouts of rain.
“The diversion is to discharge the water surface runoff and drainage water into the sea,” he explained during a press conference to explain the reasons for the diversion.
This was following criticisms on social media that the state government had misrepresented the cleaning up of the Prangin Canal by diverting the drain water elsewhere.
He pointed out that water surface runoff, drain water and discharge from septic tanks and kitchens from 278 acres around George Town all flowed into the Prangin Channel Ditch previously.
“It functioned as a monsoon drain where discharges from all housing in the 278 acres, covering about 8,500 houses and buildings, flowed into it,” he said.
Yeoh said portions of the monsoon drain was already underground to collect storm water runoff from the 278 acres.
“When we built the parallel bypass, it connected to the existing underground drain that flowed to a treatment plant before it was released into the sea,” he said.
Yeoh said PDC did not want to destroy the historic Prangin Canal so the 220m stretch was restored, cleaned and preserved with a self-sustaining eco-system.
He said logically the newly restored canal were sealed so that water from the monsoon drain does not flow into it.
“We can’t break it apart to build a wider drain for the flood mitigation so instead we built a parallel wider drain for flood mitigation while maintaining the Prangin Canal due to its historic significance,” he said.