LAST_UPDATEMon, 18 Jun 2018 9am

Blue River Water Akin To Sea In Maldives

ALOR SETAR - Sungai Baru, near here, transforms its water into greenish blue hues, and it is just like watching the blue seas in the Maldives, and the phenomenon was viralled on social media recently.

Hundreds of visitors from various areas came to witness the beauty of the ‘blue’ river water, more well-known as Sungai ‘Ayaq Biru’ which was said to be happening for the first time.

With Mount Keriang as a backdrop and surrounded by vast paddy fields, visitors generally would not want to miss the chance of witnessing the phenomenon in such a panoramic setting, for sharing on social media sites.

Mohd Shahbani Khamis, 25, from Kampung Kubang Rotan, near here, said the incident of the river water turning blue started taking place about a month ago following digging works for a flood mitigation project (RTB) which had been temporarily stopped.

“Initially, I really did not believe it, I thought it was impossible, but upon coming here I was very excited at seeing the blue river water. I want to bring my children here after this,” he said.

A Bernama check found that many locals were taking the opportunity to visit the area towards the evening, and many were bathing in the river and even diving to see what was on the riverbed.

Kedah Drainage and Irrigation Department director Ir Baharuddin Abdullah said the river was part of the Sungai Kedah/Anak Bukit RTB project which was implemented several years ago.

"This is due to the process of sedimentation of the river water, when the river water is stagnant and not affected by any external source which can contaminate the water... that is why it becomes like that.

“Let's say we take sludge (water mixed with soil), and let it stand for 24 hours, what will happen? ...the water will be become crystal clear because the silt will have settled to the bottom. So that's what happened to the river, becoming crystal clear," he said.

Denying the project was abandoned, Baharuddin said the project was actually suspended pending further instructions and actions from the relevant parties due to a number of technical issues that needed to be resolved first.

He also advised the public not to encroach on the site which is still classified as a construction area to avoid any untoward incident.