KUANTAN: Federal Route FT68, or Jalan Lama Gombak to Bentong specifically Sections 43.00 to 43.40 and Jalan Pintasan Bukit Tinggi for Sections 1.98 to 2.58 in Bentong, is closed to all vehicles from today until Dec 1 due to structural damage.

Bentong District Public Works Department (JKR) in a statement uploaded on social media announced the closure of the route which is located near the Janda Baik T- junction, to ensure the safety of road users.

As such, those heading for Janda Baik are advised to use the alternative route by taking the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway to the Bukit Tinggi Intersection heading towards the Bukit Tinggi BHP petrol station and passing through Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Bukit Tinggi.

Road users are urged to abide by the road signs provided and call the Bentong JKR office at 09-2224040 for inquiries.

The road was part of the site involved in the debris flow incident that occurred for three hours from 8pm yesterday (Nov 25) leading to the flow of water carrying bricks and sediments as well as fallen trees.

Bentong member of Parliament Young Syefura Othman in a statement on social media informed that in addition to road cracks, the incident also caused hill slope collapses and damage to residents’ properties that could affect their daily activities as well as the local economy as a tourist area.

In light of this, she requested a comprehensive study be made by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) for the necessary mitigation work especially in high-risk areas such as Bukit Tinggi and Janda Baik, and further investigation be conducted to check if there were any illegal clearing activities there.

“At the same time, immediate repairs to slopes and roads as well as river cleaning and dredging work will be carried out by JKR and JPS as a temporary measure before a long-term restoration plan is implemented,“ she said.

Young Syefura also informed that Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister, NIk Nazmi Nik Ahmad had also inspected the area this morning and held an emergency meeting with the relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, JPS in a statement informed that the debris flow occurred due to three hours of moderate- intensity rain ranging from 23.5 to 53.0 millimeters (mm) which resulted in several houses and business permises being inundated in an average depth of 0.3 to 0.6 metres before the water receded at 11.30 pm on the same day.

“In addition, the flood in the area was caused by a water surge that brought stones and sediments which led to the road crossing being blocked and overflow of Sungai Tanglir tributary onto the road,“ read the statement.

The area involved is part of the site included in the study of the Bentong District Environmentally Friendly Drainage Master Plan (PISMA), which is a long-term solution to address such issues. - Bernama

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