Problem hydrants
Published on: Friday, August 09, 2019

A KOLOMBONG shopowner will have to wait a little longer for repairs to be carried out on the fire hydrant nearest to her unit due to a backlog of similar problems elsewhere in the State Capital.

The Fire and Rescue Services Department (FRSD) initially hoped to attend to the hydrant at the Wei Hing Light Industrial Centre by the end of July.

The proprietor first related her concern about the hydrant to the agency seven months ago.

A FRSD spokesman said its staff was in the process of dealing with four other hydrants around Kota Kinabalu.

“Most of these are in a worse condition than the one in Kolombong,” he said on Aug 8.

“Nevertheless, we hope to have this hydrant functional again as soon as possible.”

He said a contractor had been appointed for this purpose after the FRSD closed a tender for the work closed at the end of June.

CHIN of Kolombong voiced her misgivings about the hydrant to the administration of the Lintas Fire Station in February.

“Shortly afterwards the Department’s staff came to inspect the hydrant,” she said.

“They found that the underground chamber beside the hydrant was full of mud. I was made to understand that the hydrant itself was ‘not workable’.

A month after this inspection, she contacted the Fire Station again to find out when the structure would be repaired.

“I was told that the inspection reports were still being prepared and would be submitted to the Department’s State headquarters for further action.”

In June, she phoned the Fire station again, when no action was forthcoming.

“This time, I was redirected to the FRSD’s headquarters. I made several calls to this office, only to be passed from one officer to another.”

She was at a loss to understand why the agency was dragging its feet to repair the hydrant.

“I was motivated to call the Department in June after one of my staff saw sparks coming from an electricity pole near the Centre.

“I hope they are not waiting for the building to catch fire and my shop to be razed before attending to the hydrant.” 

Chin provided Hotline with the location of the affected hydrant. This information was forwarded to the FRSD in June. The spokesman said the hydrants in the public areas around the City were inspected regularly according a fixed schedule.

“Our staff check these structures twice a year. Maintenance is performed on those hydrants that require it.

“However, such efforts are dependent on our funding.”

He said priority was also accorded to attending to hydrants in areas which were densely populated. (SS)


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