Monday, 24 September 2012

Sungai Datu

This river is behind USM Health Campus. The river swells during the monsoon season and appears as in the photos below during off monsoon season. Many have used photos of the river for book covers, etc. There was talk of building a bridge from USM to the other side of the river but that has not materialised. The concrete slabs you see are for the intended bridge. Since it was known that the bridge was going to be build, many people bought land on the other side of the river, for setting up homes. However, since the bridge has been built, the landowners are frustrated. Land across this river is no longer cheap. The other side of the river is low lying and floods easily, and not many people know, so they buy up. When it floods, the water reaches waist deep. I don't see any point in purchasing land on the other side of the river and prospective buyers should know. To buy land in Kelantan, it is worth coming here during the monsoon months and then decide. There is no point crying after buying. A rule of thumb when buying land here is to look for the nipah palms. These palms thrive in marshland and signifies a waterlogged land. So don't buy land where you can clearly see the nipah palms unless you don't understand what they signify.

The present USM Campus is sited on very high grounds. If I recall correctly, they had to top up the land to about 50 feet high and then build the hospital buildings, the teaching complexes, etc. It does not flood on campus but the river water overflows and floods its river banks. My brother-in-law's family lives on the other side of the river. They were cheated into buying land there under the poor families scheme (PPRT). He has 10 kids, and during the flood, they all have to wade in waist deep water to go elsewhere. It is terrible to have to cope that way.

View of Sg Datu from USM Health Campus. There are nipah palms lining the river banks. The concrete slabs are meant for the proposed bridge.
Clear blue waters of Sg Datu. I have heard of crocodiles thriving in this river.
Another view of the Sg Datu river from USM Health Campus