How Smart is SMART?

I’ve never really understood the whole meaning and use of the SMART Road, or SMART Tunnel as others might call it. The nearest I got to grasping the function of the SMART Road was that it was to function both as a drain, and as a road as well.

But water and vehicles don’t really go well together, do they? I mean, vehicles DODGE and AVOID drains at all costs. And here, we have a SMART.. thing, which put BOTH water and vehicles together.

That’s new.

But then of course, there must have been SOME level of reasoning behind why they started this project in the first place. If my memory serves me right, the construction of this SMART thing started not long after a really huge flood in KL, where even the LRTs had to cease function for a couple of hours, and some of its stations were submerged in water.

So out came this baby, of having a drain big enough to ensure that KL NEVER has to suffer another flash flood, which doubles up as a road as well. How smart our Samy Vellu!

But from recent reports, it doesn’t seem like this SMART thing is really all that smart at all.

It functioned just fine as a road. In fact, it helped ease loads and loads of traffic, which would otherwise have been hellish during peak hours.

Kudos on that.

But when you claim something to be SMART, and you say that this SMART thing is supposed to double up as a drain as well, then you better make sure that’s exactly what this SMART thing does!

A drain doesn’t qualify as a drain unless it directs water AWAY. And no, I don’t believe drains need help directing water away with use of water pumps. If you want to use water pumps, then don’t build us this gigantic drain smack in the middle of the city!

If you build a drain, make sure it works. Roads don’t work unless they can carry vehicles without collapsing the minute an extra lorry decides to use it. Houses don’t work if they can’t sustain an extra person with the weight of 45 kg on the second floor. LRTs don’t work if they only come at 50 minute intervals, and derail every chance they get.

So far, all these other things work. And I believe, it is MUCH more difficult to design and construct roads, houses and LRT rails, than it is to design and construct a bloody drain.

And for this bloody drain to be closed down for FOUR days over one evening’s worth of rainfall, then I wouldn’t call it smart. It should not be called the SMART Road or SMART Tunnel or SMART thing anymore. Perhaps NSS (Not-So-Smart) Road would be more apt.


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