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PWD to clear unkempt road verges in Penampang
Published on: Wednesday, August 12, 2020
By: Sidney Skinner
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TM technicians (in circle) checking the condition of the telephone lines after finding that the trees on this Penampang road had been pruned.
THE Public Works Department (PWD) hopes to deal with the unkempt verges for roads around Penampang which are under the agency’s maintenance.

A PWD spokesman said its concessionaire had been asked to check on the condition of the greenery growing on the reserve land for the stretches in the agency’s road register.

“The firm was instructed to identify those road-shoulders which require attention,” he said.

“Once we have this list, we will apply for funds to have the trees pruned and the creepers cleared from these common areas.”

This action was prompted by a complaint from a Penampang homeowner about the overgrown greenery along Jalan Kepayan-Kobusak, near the junction to Taman Nosoob Jaya Phase 1.

The individual said some on the trees on the road shoulder had grown very high as they had not been pruned in years.

She feared that they could topple over during a downpour, causing harm to motorists and pedestrians who might be passing by underneath.

Alternatively, the falling trees might damage the electricity and telephone lines in the vicinity, leaving those living in the area without these services, according to her.

She provided Hotline with the location of the unkempt verge, which was forwarded to the PWD, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd.

The PWD spokesman said its staff inspected the area shortly after receiving this information.

“They confirmed that the presence of the overgrown trees and greenery on the road-shoulder,” he said.

“Action was taken shortly, thereafter, to attend to these irregularities. 

The verge (left) of this Penampang road had not been maintained in years.

 

“The contractor who trimmed the branches, also removed a dead tree which was being supported by some cables nearby.”

When asked how often the verge was maintained, the spokesman said this was done as and when it became necessary to do so.

“There is no fixed-schedule for this work as it can only be carried out once we have an allocation to attend to a particular road-shoulder.”

Nevertheless, he said the Department’s staff would periodically keep an eye on the condition of the verge near the junction to Taman Nosoob Jaya Phase 1 to ensure that the verge did not become overgrown. 

LING of Penampang said the greenery beside the junction to Taman Nosoob Jaya Phase 1had not been maintained in sometime. 

As a result, the cables along the stretch had become entangled in the overgrown trees on the verge, according to her.

“At one section there is even a dead tree which is being propped up by the overhead lines nearby,” she said. 

“Thankfully, the cables have not snapped but as a result the poles to which they are attached are slanting.”

Ling said she had initially contacted the District Council about the unkempt condition of the verge on which the trees were growing.

“I received a letter from the agency in December last year, informing me that an inspection had been carried out of the roadside.

“The Council’s personnel confirmed that some of the trees looked as if they could fall over at any time. 

“They also noted that some of the branches had encroached into the path of the power and phone lines nearby.”

She was made to understand, at the time, that the Council was helpless to intervene on this problem as the land reserve, where the trees were planted, was not under the agency’s jurisdiction. 

Ling first relayed her apprehensions about the potential damage to the power lines to SESB in January.

“The staff whom I first spoke to took my contact details so that he could get back to me.

“So far, I have yet to receive any feedback and the trees in question have become more overgrown.” 

At one stage, she saw some SESB personnel inspecting the area but nothing came from this inspection.

“I fear that more trees might fall onto the wires, disrupting the power to our homes, given the intermittent heavy rains which we have been experiencing over the past week.”

A Council spokesman said a check of its records revealed that its staff had gone to the Kobusak road on December 9.

“They found that some of the trees were leaning over at a 45 degree angle,” he said.

“One of the trees was dead and needed to be promptly removed.”

He said this tree was over 70 feet in height and had a circumference of 5 feet.

“Our personnel observed that the tree was already touching the overhead cables in the vicinity.”

The spokesman said a letter about these findings was sent to the PWD later in December.

“This is the most we can do as the stretch, including the verge, is not in our road-register.”

A TM spokesman said its staff went to the area, after speaking to the homeowner about her concerns.

“They confirmed the proximity of some of the branches to the TM overhead lines near the junction to the neighbourhood in July,” he said.

“During a follow-up inspection during the first week of August, our staff found that the trees had been pruned and some of the greenery had since been cleared.

He said the company’s personnel were in the process of checking on the condition of the telephone lines along the road. 

A SESB spokeswoman said the management had begun pruning some of the trees near our transmission lines in the area,” he said.

“This was done in Taman Kobusak Jaya in the third week of July,” she said.



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