Klang River and Gombak River have been infamous for their murky waters that have became an eyesore to many people
However, these rivers look entirely different now as they are set to be transformed into vibrant waterfronts by 2020
The River of Life (ROL) Project was initiated in 2011 to restore the eight major rivers in the Klang Valley, including the Klang and Gombak rivers in the city, to transform them into rivers with economic and commercial value.
The other rivers are Batu River, Jinjang River, Keroh River, Bunus River, Ampang River, and Keroyong River.
A total of RM4.4 billion has been allocated for this project - RM3.4 billion is to clean up the river while the remaining RM1 billion is for landscaping. This is to ensure that the quality of the rivers are at safe level and eventually good enough for recreational use.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has officially launched Phase 1 of the project yesterday, 28 August
The premier announced that the ROL project is 80% completed with about 110km of cleaning works completed across the eight rivers involved in the projct. The rest of the project is expected to be completed by 2020.
Bernama reported that the first phase of the river beautification for Precinct 7 of the ROL project involves historic sites like Dataran Merdeka, Masjid Jamek, and Pasar Seni (Central Market) which are at the confluence of the two rivers.
The Blue Pond project, which is said to be a catalyst of national economy and a way to draw more tourists to the area, was also launched simultaneously with the ROL project yesterday
According to Najib, the idea to initiate the Blue Pond project came about when he visited Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad to review the ROL project last February.
He said that the saw the potential to optimise the area and challenged the Federal Territories Minister to come up with something that could attract more tourists and city dwellers.
The result of the project is a majestic view of the river with colourful lights and water fountains accompanied by music - something that Najib said he is very satisfied with.
The Malaysian prime minister has also expressed his hopes that this transformation will see the area surrounding the rivers become a world-class attraction
"It is my hope that through this project, the area around the river will be listed as a tourist attraction that is comparable to cities such as Melbourne, Seoul, and Singapore which have an iconic and attractive waterfront," read the entry published yesterday on Najib's official blog.
He added that in order for Malaysia to become a first-class nation, the country must not stop at just building first-world infrastructure but all citizens should adopt the first-world mentality and share the responsibility of keeping the city clean and comfortable for everyone.
Do you think the new Blue Pond project will attract more tourists and city dwellers to KL? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Najib also has plans to transform parts of Kuala Lumpur into a beautiful urban rainforest park just like New York's Central Park: