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PWD yet to inspect P’pang road reserve
Published on: Tuesday, July 20, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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City Hall staff climb the steep slope in Taman Dixon to clear the undergrowth on this drain reserve.
CITY HALL will make periodic checks on the condition of a drain reserve behind some Luyang homes while, the Public Works Department (PWD) has yet to inspect a Penampang road reserve after a month.

This follows two separate complaints about the overgrown greenery in these areas.

The trees, growing on the government land behind a house in Taman Dixon, made a Luyang rate-payer uneasy due to their substantial height.

She said the trees swayed vigorously from side to side when there was a strong wind blowing.

The homeowner was afraid that the top half of the trees might snap off and tumble onto the back of her property.

The individual was also fed up of constantly having to clear away the dried leaves from her compound and backyard drain.

There is no more danger of the tree tops falling onto the houses nearby, after the overgrown greenery had been cleared.

A Taman Fraser homeowner, on the other hand, feared that trees at the back of his house could topple over at any time causing harm to drivers and pedestrians, who used this section of Jalan Penampang.

Alternatively, the electricity and telephone lines on the verge could be damaged when they fell, leaving himself and others in the neighbourhood without these services, according to him.

He said the trees along the main road, next to his fence, had become very thick and tall.

Both homeowners provided Hotline with the location of this overgrown greenery.

This information was forwarded to City Hall, the PWD, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd.

City Hall personnel used chainsaws to trim the trees.

A spokesman for City Hall’s Landscaping Department said its personnel went to the drain reserve in Taman Dixon, shortly after being made aware of this problem.

He said its staff confirmed that the trees on the slope needed to be trimmed, during their inspection.

“A team of nine workers, armed with chain-saws and ‘parangs’, pruned the branches and cleared the weeds that same day,” he said.

“They also cleared the backyard drain in the vicinity of any dried leaves and twigs which may have fallen inside.”

He said the agency’s workers returned to the area a few days later to finish clearing the slope and to remove the debris from their efforts.

“Due to the steepness of the slope, as well as the extensiveness of the overgrown area, it took two trips to complete the work.

“We will keep an eye on this government land from time to time to ensure that it does not become unkempt.”

When asked how often the reserve was maintained, he said this was done when it became necessary to do so. 

SHI, who lives in Taman Dixon, said the trees towered over her backyard, off Lorong Apens 2. 

“They shed leaves in my compound and I am constantly having to sweep up this mess,” she said.

“Worse still, some often fall into the backyard drain, clogging it up and causing it to overflow, when it rains.

“During the dry season, the water inside stagnates, giving of a stench.”

A branch from this tree on Jalan Penampang can be seen resting on the electricity cables nearby.

She said she was forced to keep the doors and windows closer to the drain closed, to prevent the foul odour from getting inside.

Shi said she had related these concerns to City Hall several times over the past few years but, so far, the trees had yet to be trimmed. “At one stage, one of the agency’s came to have a look at the slope.

“He took note of the potential nuisance and danger posed by the trees and told me that he would make his superiors aware of his observations. 

 “However, nothing came from his effort.”

Meanwhile, the PWD is still looking into a Penampang homeowner’s claims about the overgrown trees at one section of Jalan Penampang.

Hotline made the Department aware about the dangers posed by this greenery on June 15.

When asked about the month-plus delay in checking on the trees, a Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

“We will check our records to determine whether the stretch is listed in our road register,” she said.

“If this is so, and provided the trees are growing on a road reserve, then action will be taken to attend to the greenery.”

She said the government concessionaire would be asked to trim the trees as soon as possible. “The greenery on road shoulders, under our jurisdiction, is trimmed as and when it becomes necessary to do so.”

The spokeswoman said the agency would consider carrying out an inspection of the area together with SESB and TM officers. 

“This will allow us to have the trees pruned with minimal impact on the power and telecommunication installations, including poles and cables, which belong to both companies.”

WONG, who lives in Taman Fraser, said the greenery along the main road had not been maintained in sometime. 

“The cables on the road shoulder, at the back of Lorong Gunung Perlis, have become entangled in the overgrown trees on the verge,” he said.

“I made SESB aware about my concerns that blackouts might occur here if the company did not attend to this greenery.”

Wong’s complaint was initially forwarded to City Hall. 

The spokesman said it was helpless to intervene on this problem as the land reserve, where the trees were planted, was not under the agency’s jurisdiction. 

A SESB spokeswoman said the company’s staff had partly dealt with the trees earlier in June, after learning of the homeowner’s concerns.

“They confirmed the proximity of some of the branches to the electricity cables on the verge,” she said.

“They cut away those branches which had encroached into the path of our overhead lines shortly thereafter.

“We are prepared to take down the cables to allow the trees to be pruned as and when the local authorities tend to the greenery here.”

A TM spokesman said the management would work together with the relevant agency to do the same.

He said the company would check on its installations on the roadside in question.



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