Missing slabs on Kunak, Penampang walkways
Published on: Tuesday, May 10, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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Many of the concrete slabs at this Kunak commercial center are either damaged or missing.
The Penampang District Council (PDC) will be keeping an eye on the five-foot-ways in Kobusak, while the agency’s counterpart in Kunak is checking on the condition of similar common areas around a row of shophouses in the town. 

Two rate-payers spoke out about the pedestrian hazards posed by the damaged, or missing, concrete slabs for the covered drains along a housing road and at a commercial centre in Penampang.

A new concrete slab was placed over the covered drain on the roadside.

A Kunak shop-keeper, meanwhile, raised similar concerns about the “holes” in the pavement in front of his unit.

The trio separately provided Hotline with the location of the affected five-foot-ways which were forwarded to the respective Councils.

A PDC spokesman said its staff had been asked be more diligent when it came to looking after the public walkways around Kobusak. 

He said this action was prompted after a preliminary investigation of the area turned up slab-related problems along sections of Lorong Rainfield and in one part of Donggongon.

He said a slab at the former location had found to be missing, with some planks placed over the exposed section of the roadside drain.

“The pieces of wood had been left there for so long that they had become brittle and could very well have given way if anyone had stepped on them,” he said.

“For whatever reason, the slab had not been replaced. Thankfully, no one had been injured because of this.”

The PDC’s contractor and his worker remove the planks and clear any obstructions from around the exposed section of this pavement in Lorong Rainfield.

He said the Council set about remedying this situation after this oversight came to light.

“Towards the end of April, one of our contractor’s had the missing slab rebuilt and attended to any irregularities involving the others on the same stretch.”

The individual also went to Donggongon around the same time, according to the spokesman.

“On top of replacing or repairing the slabs around a commercial centre here, in some cases, the contractor also rebuilt parts of the pavement nearby.

“This was done to ensure that the slabs sat properly on the five-foot-ways as any loose slabs might very well cause those going on foot to fall into the drains below and injure themselves.”

When asked how often structural maintenance was performed on the drains and pavements around the Council’s rating area, the spokesman said there was no fixed schedule for this work.

“This is done as and when it becomes necessary to do so. 

“To this end, we hope the public will inform us directly of any irregularities involving these amenities so that action can be taken to deal with these problems as soon as possible.”

The contractor and his staff put their backs into removing a loose slab in one part of Donggongon.

ANITA of Penampang said planks had been placed over the hole in the pavement on Lorong Rainfield “years ago”.

“This was only supposed to be stop-gap measure until the cement slab could be rebuilt,” she said. 

“I suspect that the local authorities may have slipped up because, after all this time, the pieces of wood have never been taken away.” 

Another Penampang resident, JUSTIN, decried the lack of maintenance carried out on the five-foot-ways in Donggongon.

He said the slabs for many of the covered drains around the town were either damaged or missing. 

“If you are walking in these areas at night and are unaware of this problem, you could easily twist your ankle,” he said.

“You could wind up falling into the drain or, if there is a road nearby, into path of oncoming vehicles as a result of this.”

TIMOTHY of Kunak said patrons faced similar dangers when they went to the establishments at the shophouses near Taman Sri Idaman.

He said many of the slabs were gone, leaving “holes” in the five-foot-way.

Parts of the pavement were rebuilt so that the slab stayed in place.

 Timothy said some of those that remained were chipped and did not sit properly on the pavement. 

“The common areas around the premises have not been attended to in quite a while,” he said.

“The grass around the building is overgrown and there is rubbish strewn about the place, even in some the drains.”

A spokesman for the Kunak District Council explained that the developer had handed over the shophouses to the agency a few years ago.

“A check of our records, however, reveals that the building is located outside our rating area,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we will try and see how we can help those who live and work here.”

He said the agency had recently intervened on the problems with the public lighting around the shophouses.

“The Council’s staff will have a look at the covered drains and public areas around the building.

“We will have to deliberate over how best to deal with any shortcomings involving the amenities there.”

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