SMART-tunnel now an overpriced giant monsoon drain and floods maker
In December 2006, I wrote a piece and make an analysis whether the RM1.9 Billions SMART Tunnel can help relief continuous rain falls similar to JB great flood, my answer is NO.
In less than 1 and half year, I am worry that the thesis are now proven.
According to SMART own report, the traffics tunnel are close from 24 March to 26 March. And the roadway is only available on the 27 March.
According to my previous calculation, SMART tunnel will be overwhelmed and close indefinitely if the Kuala Lumpur area rain for 3 consecutive day, and flood water will start submerge KL city center.
Alas, it seems my conservative calculation are far beyond the reality : Instead of 3 days (72 hours), mother nature just need 2 days(48 hours) rains to change KL landscape into water world.
On 1st April 2008, flash floodhits KL city center again, and the SMART tunnel roadway closed again on 3pm. But before that, according to thestar report :
The downpour since afternoon forced the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) to be closed at 3pm for flood mitigation operations.
“SMART calls on motorists to be patient. Current information will be given to the media from time to time,” the operators said in a statement.
The water level started rising at about 2pm near Bulatan Pahang after the downpour.
On 2nd April 2008, another flood hits Kuala Lumpur, and create a 2 hours traffics jam from Petaling Jaya towards Kuala Lumpur. It is rather strange that, this mainstream media are playing down this session.
Nor the appointed KL mayor or the federal territories minister are able to answer to the short downpour that doesn’t last more than 5 hours.
It is clear that, the continue “development” and the SMART tunnel itself, has destroy a huge amount of buffer zone the nature standby for the flood prone Kuala Lumpur.
Apparently, the environment report for the SMART tunnel are more toward BN commercial art or development than flood control science
Indeed, the SMART tunnel failed to replace the function of the 3.5 millions cubic meter of earth removed from the construction site. The SMART tunnel area are now become a rain water shield that prevent the whole stretch of tunnel area into a “water-repelling” zone. When it rain heavily, the rain water cannot penetrate further down the ground, because the SMART tunnel concrete block it. Due to the gravity, without the SMART tunnel concrete blocking the water, 5 to 8 millions cubics of rain water can pass through the earth before releasing into the river through underground water passage.
This is what happen for a natural land. Water will absorb into the earth through osmosis process. The water will travel down the ground pulling by the gravity.
The SMART-tunnel concrete will turn a large portions of ground a water proof zone. Rain water unable to pass through the SMART tunnel concrete, thus excessive rain water will overflow ground.
SMART tunnel : floods Solution or floods maker ?
The SMART-tunnel supporter, AKA those “contract benefiter” will argue that it works : by removing some flash flood in KL city center.
But looking at the draft blueprints, one will notice SMART-tunnel are merely a tools for “problem diversion”, an infamous tactics that used by Barisan Nasional government for many years.
By channeling rain water and overflow Klang river water into the STORM-tunnel, will temporary relief the imminent flood from the upstream. However, when rain falls daily, it will overwhelm STORM-tunnel and render it into a expensive monsoon drain.
To make things worst, because the area occupied by STORM-Tunnel prevent rain water entering the earth, a spills effect start happens on area surrounding STORM-tunnel, this mean area surrounded by STORM are now flood prone. To make things worst, because water release from SMART-tunnel will enter Kerayong river, the rapid release of water will increase sediment into Kerayong river which eventually affect the sediment level of Klang river.
Did the SMART-tunnel environment report assess such situation? I bet yes, but with money speak, anything is “workable”.
Disaster await? Pray it will not happens in my lifetime.