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Half-hearted job in Luyang by grass-cutters
Published on: Friday, June 04, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The grass-cutters seen here in March only trimmed the grass at the edge of the flood drain.
A Luyang homeowner is upset about the half-hearted effort to maintain the backyard drain reserve in Taman Milek Phase 4, which he said was “badly overgrown”.

He said grass-cutters had twice come to the area so far this year, first in March and again in May.

On both occasions, however, “the lalang” covering only a fraction of the land was trimmed. The bulk of this grass was left uncut, according to him.

The individual claimed that the land outside his fence was last tended properly in January 2020.

The homeowner provided Hotline with the location of the drain reserve which was forwarded to City Hall.

A spokesman for the agency said an inspection was carried out shortly after it was made aware of this problem.

“Our personnel noted that most of the reserve was unkempt. Only a portion of this property, near the edge of the drain, had been cut,” he said. 

Despite these observations, he said City Hall was helpless to intervene as the government land in question was not under its jurisdiction.

“We forwarded our findings to the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and called on the agency to take the necessary action.”

The spokesman said this was the second time that City Hall had brought this matter to the Department’s attention.

He said a letter, about the lack of maintenance carried out on the reserve, was sent to the DID in January. 

A mini jungle can be seen beyond this backyard fence in Luyang.

A Department spokeswoman confirmed that the government land in question was under the authority’s care due to the presence of the flood drain nearby.

When asked about the six-month delay in attending to the reserve, however, she declined to comment.

She said an oversight on the part of the contractor was likely to blame for what had transpired.

“The individual was only appointed to look after our reserves earlier this year and is likely to be unfamiliar will full requirements of the job,” she said.

“Our staff will double-check his work and advise him accordingly on what is expected of him and his workers.”

The spokeswoman said a large water distribution main was found to be sitting on the reserve during a preliminary check of the area behind the resident’s house.

“The section of the land between his backyard fence and the oversized blue pipe was full of lalang and weeds.

On the homeowner’s claims about the lack of maintenance carried out on the reserve, the spokeswoman said the previous contractor’s tenure ended in June last year.

“The new contractor was only awarded this task earlier this year, after the Department received the necessary funds to do so.

“He is duty- bound to deal with any overgrown greenery on the entire width of the land. 

She said the DID would monitor the progress of the individual’s work to ensure that it was being performed as it should.

ALFY of Luyang said the area beyond his backyard fence was last tended to more than a year and a half ago.

“The ‘lalang’ has grown so tall that it almost reaches to the top of my fence,” he said.

“Interspersed between this grass are various weeds which are also thriving on this land.”

He feared that unscrupulous parties might use this overgrown land to carry out misdeeds in his neighbourhood.

“The unkempt greenery would make the perfect hiding place for thieves. Several of my neighbours are afraid that our homes risk being broken into.

Alfy also voiced his concern that this area had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.

“At times, snakes and rats have been seen slithering into, or scurrying across, our compound.”

“The local authorities should be more diligent in having the grass cut before there is a dengue outbreak here.

“What is the point of fogging only after such cases are reported in our neighbourhood?”

He said he related his misgivings to City Hall staff in January and, a week later, one of the agency’s officers came to inspect the reserve.

“This staff informed me that the area beyond my fence belonged to the Department.

“As such, the onus for tending to the land fell to this agency. He assured me that my grievance would be forwarded to the DID.”

He contacted City Hall again in February and March, when no action was forthcoming.

“One Saturday morning in the middle of March, I was glad to hear the sound of the grass-cutting machines coming from behind my fence.

“My joy was shortlived, however, as I later discovered that only the grass between the edge of the drain and the pipe had been cut.”

He said the greenery between the water main and my fence was left untouched.

Alfy said the grass on the reserve was cut again on a Friday afternoon, towards the end of last month.

“Again the area beyond my fence was ignored by these workers. This land now looks like a mini-jungle.

“I cannot understand how the DID could be wilfully turning a blind eye to this situation.” 



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