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Roadside obstructions, damages pose danger to P’pang pedestrians
Published on: Tuesday, January 11, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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A Penampang resident wonders why nothing has been done to repair this verge along Jalan Nosoob–Hungab.
The District Council and Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) are in the process of dealing with the pedestrian hazards in two different areas in Penampang.

This follows observations that the public is being forced to walk into the path of traffic on Jalan Bundusan, and Jalan Nosoob–Hungab to avoid the problems at sections along these routes.

A Taman Golf View resident cannot understand why the obstructions protruding onto the pavement along Jalan Bundusan have not been removed, 10 months after he first highlighted this irregularity to the Council.

A Taman Bulan resident on the other hand, wants to know why the DID has not taken advantage of the good weather in the State Capital to begin repairs on a section of the grass verge at Jalan Nosoob–Hungab.

DID engineers checking on the condition of the verge and drain along Jalan Nosoob-Hungab

Both individuals related their concerns in writing to Hotline. Their letters were forwarded to the Council and Department.

A Council spokesman confirmed the presence of some illegal structures which were jutting out onto the pavement at Jalan Bundusan.

“Staff from our Engineering Department found that some private land, near Taman Golf View, had been fenced off during an inspection last week,” he said on Monday.

“They noted several metal structures at the base of the hoarding which protruded into the path of the public walkway.

He said the landowner had earlier received approval from the Council to build a house on his/her property.

“The protrusions are not only an inconvenience to pedestrians. They could very well compromise the safety of those going on foot.”

“The individual does not have permission to occupy the government land in this manner.” 

He said the landowner would be notified again to move the fence away from the pavement.

“He/she was already served a notice to this affect in October.”

A Council staff member inspects the fence which was put up at this section of Jalan Bundusan.

A check of the Council’s records revealed that the agency had been aware of the problem involving Jalan Bundusan a few months before this, according to the spokesman.

“We were informed about this grievance twice on April 25 and May 17. 

“Staff with our Complaints’ Unit encountered some difficulty in tracing the landowner’s particulars.”

When asked if this was the reason for the lengthy delay in resolving this matter, the spokesman declined to comment.

“Our Engineering Department will conduct a follow-up inspection once the grace period for the second notice expires.

“Further action will be taken if the landowner fails to comply.”

He did not rule out the possibility of the Council shifting the hoarding and billing the landowner for the cost of this work.

MIKE of Penampang said the metal fixtures, which held up the fence, occupied a three-foot width of the pavement.

“The way the angled iron pieces stick out on the walkway is hazardous to those going on foot,” he said.

“A disaster is looming for pedestrians. If they trip, they could fall onto the main road and wind up causing a bad accident.

“Failing this, they might end up spraining their ankles or suffering a worse injury.”

Mike admitted that he hated to imagine what would happen if an elderly citizen or expectant mum were to trip over one of these fixtures.

“I hope the owner of the fence will accord some priority to removing these obstructions.”

Meanwhile, the DID is still deliberating over the specifics for the remedial work involving a collapsed drain wall, and the damage this has caused to the grass verge, at one part of Jalan Nosoob-Hungab.

The metal fixtures (circled), which support the fence, are a danger to pedestrians.

A DID spokeswoman said the agency hoped to begin attending to the drain by April.

“A team of our engineers is presently deciding how best to deal with the damage,” she said.

“We hope to finalise the details soon as this will have to be done before we can source for funds for the repairs.”

She said the Department would have to obtain “special permission” from the Ministry of Finance prior to securing an allocation.

When asked why nothing had been done so far to at least mend the verge itself - given the present dry spell which the State Capital has been experiencing - the spokeswoman said the DID was erring on the side of caution with its actions.

“We dare not rush in to begin repairs as we don’t want Jalan Nosoob–Hungab to give way.”

She said the Department was also concerned about the condition of the private land on the other side of the drain. 

“So far, it remains intact. We do not want to inadvertently cause this property to destabilise because of the remedial work on the drain. 

“The DID will have to compensate the landowner if this happens.”

The spokeswoman said a preliminary check carried out late last year, revealed that a section of the drain wall had fallen in.

“The earth on the road reserve nearby destabilised because of this. An uneven trench, which is metres-long, has also formed.” 

She said part of the guardrail and several streetlight poles in the area had been impacted by this damage. 

These structures were no longer upright but were instead leaning over at 45-degree angles, according to her.

“Our staff have been checking on the condition of the verge and drain, from time to time, to ensure that the situation does not go from bad to worse.”

SAN, who lives in Taman Bulan, said pedestrians risked injuring themselves or worse, if they slipped and fell while walking along the damaged verge.

“Those going on foot could also wind up being hit by oncoming traffic as they are forced to encroach onto the road,” she said.

She said that the trench had appeared several months ago.

“In the intervening period, some good samaritan strung up some rope and security tape around the affected section to make the public more aware of the hazard.”

San hoped the local authorities would act on this problem as soon as possible, before anyone came to harm.

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