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SESB taken to task over street light woes
Published on: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The streetlight on the main road near the junction to Kg Suok Dambai in Papar is out of order and overgrown with crawler plants
A PAPAR driver has taken Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to task for turning a blind eye to the lack of illumination on Jalan Suok Dambai Nantazan.

He said, at night, the brightness on the stretch was “patchy” at best because only the odd street lights here and there were operational.

The individual estimated that there were more than 20 streetlights along the road.

A SESB spokeswoman said the firm’s branch office in the district had been alerted to the motorist’s concerns.

“A preliminary inspection of the stretch will be made to establish whether the lights belong to us,” she said.

Another light along the road to the village is unlit and overgrown with crawler plants.

“If this is so, then our technicians will have to isolate the cause of the outage, before the necessary restoration can be enacted.”

She said the relevant agency would be informed about the lighting woes in the event that these facilities were not maintained by SESB.

JUNIOR, who lives in Kg Suok-Dambai, said streetlights were installed between the junction from Jalan Mogon Biau-junction all the way to the village years ago.

He said the lights were attached to many of the electricity poles along the stretch. 

“The lights were tested for a while to see if they functioned, after they were first attached to the electricity poles,” he said. 

He said many of these amenities had not been lit since.

A skymaster was deployed to facilitate efforts to restore the streetlights on Jalan Sang Kancil in Karamunsing.

“The lights feel like decorations which have lost their charm. A lot of them are no longer pleasing to the eye.

“The metal around the light fixtures has lost its sheen and turned brown, while the poles to which they are connected have become overgrown with creepers.”

He said the lack of illumination made it difficult for motorists to tell if there were vehicles coming round the bend at night, let alone when those going on foot were crossing the road.

“This is especially so when there is a downpour.”

A City Hall contractor checks on the timer servicing some of the lights.

Junior said some of those living in the village, which is located about 10 kilometres away from the town, had reported these streetlight woes to the District Council.

“The Council’s staff redirected my neighbours to SESB. They were made to understand that the lights were outside the agency’s jurisdiction.

“My neighbours highlighted the problem with the lights to the company, but their efforts have, so far, proven in vain as the lights have not been restored.”

Junior bemoaned the half-hearted effort by SESB to maintain the streetlights in the area.

“I read in the local media that the company’s staff recently cleared the greenery which had encroached into the path of the electricity cables, and grown over the poles, leading to the village.

“I think this work was only performed along the main road near the junction because there are still creepers all over many of the power poles and lights on Jalan Suok-Dambai,” he said on May 21.

The road leading to Maktab Gaya, from Jalan Kebajikan, is shrouded in darkness.

A Council spokesman said the agency was helpless to intervene on this problem, as the streetlights were not under its maintenance. 

“A check of our records show that these amenities were not installed by us,” he said.

“The most we can do is to alert the parties that put up the lights about this problem.”

Meanwhile, a problem with the timer, servicing some of the streetlights on Jalan Kebajikan, in the Luyang area, was partly to blame for the breakdown of these facilities.

A City Hall spokesman suspected that the device might have been damaged by a power surge.

“The faulty sensor was replaced and the timer was reset, shortly after we became aware of the problem,” he said. 

“Our contractor later confirmed that the lights were coming on and going off as normal.”

He said a “blown fuse” also rendered these facilities inoperative in another part of the same road.

“The contractor has been asked to step up efforts to monitor these facilities to ensure that this problem does not recur.”

SHER of Karamunsing said the many of the lights, between the Shell Kiosk and the junction to Jalan Sang Kancil, had been out of order for some time.

“Drivers risk colliding with the approaching traffic coming round the bend,” she said.

“This situation is especially hazardous when it rains heavily.”

She said portions of the adjoining roads, including one that passed Maktab Gaya and led to the Carmelite monastery, were also unlit.

“I hope the local authorities will restore the lights soon before drivers or pedestrians come to harm.”



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