Putrajaya, 7 February 2022 — Works to dredge the navigation channel and basin of the Kuala Perlis Passenger Ferry Terminal has been implemented following low tide incidents which prevent ferries from departing and berthing at the jetty, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ir Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said the Ministry of Transport (MOT) through the Marine Department of Malaysia (JLM) took the immediate measure to appoint a contractor to carry out the works through an Emergency Procurement.
“The dredging works began on Feb 6 (Sunday) and will end on Feb 22, 2022,” he said in a statement on Monday.
An incident on Feb 2 where Langkawi-Kuala Perlis ferries could not depart on time had gone viral, as water in the navigation channel of the Kuala Perlis Passenger Ferry Terminal dropped below 1.6 metres.
The incident forced operating ferries to berth and depart during high tide, which also caused delays in the arrival of the ferries from the Kuala Perlis jetty and congestion at the Kuah Passenger Ferry Terminal, Langkawi.
According to Wee, JLM had carried out dredging work on a 5.6 kilometres (km) navigation channel to a Chart Datum (CD) depth of 2.0 metres at the Kuala Perlis Jetty from August 2018 until March 2019.
He said the dredging work involved a cost of RM13.8 million specifically for overcoming sedimentation which often took place at the terminal.
“Periodical dredgings which are carried out by JLM have not only boosted the safety of the ferry service but also that of fishermen and boat operators in the area.
“The dredgings also directly benefit the local populace, by overcoming the high tide phenomenon which can cause seawater to overflow and flood Kuala Perlis and the surrounding area,” he said.
Basically, Wee said the dredging project could spur various economic sectors and boost the socio-economic level of the locals, while ensuring the logistics chain to Langkawi is not severed.
“The method and technique of dredging have undergone various developments including fine-tuning the sediment trap method for implementation,” he said.
In order to overcome the high rate of sedimentation, the Kuala Perlis Passenger Ferry Terminal Navigation Channel and Basin Dredging Work Project had been listed and approved as a priority project under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
“JLM is currently in the process of conducting more comprehensive dredging work to deepen the basin in front of the Kuala Perlis Jetty and a 9 km-long navigation channel to a CD depth of 4 metres and 70 metres wide,” he said.
In the meantime, Wee said MOT had appointed the Department of Drainage and Irrigation to implement a study for a more sustainable solution to overcome the problem of sedimentation which chokes the Kuala Perlis Passenger Ferry Terminal’s navigation channel and basin.
The study is scheduled to be completed on Feb 28, with improvement recommendations to be utilised by the government, he added. — Construction+ Online