When I first arrived in JB, I could smell Sungei Sengget a mile away, there were a number of Kopi-Tiam and Mamak stall along the river which I never ever patronize cause the sight and smell of the river makes me forget that I am hungry. Sungei Sengget was flagged as a 'dead' river backed in 2014. A 'dead' river is a river that is unable to sustain any form of fish or aquatic plants. If I trip and fall into the river, I probably need to soak myself in a bath tub of Dettol for a week. According to locals, people use to swim in the river during the 1950, however, due to rapid development, sewerage effluence and rubbish from open drains were discharge into the river. I vainly searched for photos of the polluted river online to show you what it looked like (before 2015) but I guess it was not exactly a picturesque spot.
In 2015 the Malaysian government initiated the transformation of the river and its immediate surroundings . It is part of an ambitious plan to make Johor Bahru a World Class city by 2020. Besides beautifying the river to make it a tourist attraction, they also widen it and place a flood mitigation system to flood proof Jalan Wong Ah Fook ( the busy road along City Square and JBCC). I read that they also built two sewage treatment plants to clean the river water and water that will flow into the river. Maybe in a few years I can even fish along the river.
I must say that I am very impress with the transformation, there is hardly any rubbish floating in the river, the water looks much cleaner now, they even built two walkways and planted grass and trees on both sides the river. Everything looks so clean and orderly. I am waiting to cast my fishing line soon.