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City Hall eye on public lighting
Published on: Friday, June 17, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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The contractor’s workers raising the dangling cable, at this section of the Kolombong-Lintas Ring Road, to a safer level.
City Hall is keeping an eye on the public lighting at a section of the Lintas-Kolombong Ring Road to minimise the traffic hazards at night, while similar concerns have prompted Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to take down the unwanted power poles along a Kinarut stretch. 

The agency aimed to safeguard motorists – especially the elderly – who may have poor night vision, while the company wanted to pre-empt potential accidents which could happen if any leaning poles toppled onto vehicles moving to and from a village near the town.

A spokesman for City Hall’s Engineering Department said a preliminary check revealed that the lights on the divider between the Jalan Mangga-Ring Road junction and the Lintas flyover were out of order. 

He said the contractor, tasked with maintaining these lights, checked the control panel for these facilities shortly thereafter. “Some of the components inside the control panel were found to be damaged,” he said.

“His workers made the necessary repairs and reset the mechanism for these facilities on that same day.”

The contractor returned with a skymaster later that night to attend to any of the lights which were inoperative, according to him.  “Less than a week later, however, one of these poles fell over after a driver ran into it.”

He said the cable connected to this facility was left dangling within arm’s reach because of this.

“The contractor’s staff went up in the skymaster again. This time they raised the power line to a safer level and connected it to the nearest pole. “They kept the lights on the divider under observation for a period afterwards before confirming that all these facilities were going on and off as they should.

SESB personnel dismantling this double-pole in the Kinarut area.

The spokesman said the contractor had, nevertheless, been asked to step up efforts to monitor the lights to ensure that the stretch was properly lit at night.

ADAM of Kolombong was shocked to find a substantial length of the Ring Road shrouded in darkness when he drove from his home in Nountun Apartments towards the Lintas area on a recent Saturday night.

He and his family had been on their way for dinner at the time.  “Even with my spectacles on, I found it difficult to gauge the movement of the other vehicles in front and beside me,” he said.

“This situation made me tense. At one point, during the journey, my young nephew started talking to me and wound up getting scolded for distracting me from focusing on the road.”

Adam feared that other road-users with poor night vision might come to harm for worse if nothing was done to restore the lights.

“These drivers could easily wind up being involved in a bad accident because of the lack of illumination.

“Alternatively, they could wind up hitting pedestrians who are crossing the road.” “This could also happen during a downpour when visibility is impaired.”

He said these concerns were not unfounded as he often saw the carcasses of strays lying on the Ring Road in the morning. “I suspect that they might have been run over at night because the motorists could not make out that these dogs were on the stretch.” 

Meanwhile, SESB has removed some of those installations which were no longer being used along the access road to Kg Tampasak in Kinarut.

A spokesman for the company said its staff had dismantled a leaning pole and “double-pole” along the stretch.

“The poles served little purpose as there was no electricity running through the lines supported by any of them,” he said  “Earlier this year, we set up an alternative path for the overhead lines servicing the village and surrounding areas.”

He said the decision was made to remove the unwanted assets as the management did not want them to become a traffic hazard. “One of the poles was bending over at a 45 degree angle and looked as if it could fall over at anytime.

“Any pedestrian or driver caught underneath, when it collapses, could wind up being injured or, worse still, and lose their lives.” MEJOH of Kinarut said the electricity pole in question had not been upright for some time.

“I made SESB aware of this when it first caught my eye months ago,” he said. 

“The staff who took my call at the time assured me that the relevant section would be informed about my grievance.”

He said nothing had been done to return the pole to its original position over the intervening period.

“To make matters worse, it has been inching closer and closer to the ground. 

“Anyone of us who drives or walks along the road might come to harm as and when it topples.” 

Adam hoped the SESB would accord some priority to dealing with the pole before this happens.

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