Walkways filled with holes in Luyang, P’pang
Published on: Thursday, July 29, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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A city hall contractor removing the damaged slab at Damai Plaza.
City Hall and the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) are attending to walkways in Luyang and one part of Jalan Penampang, following concerns about the dangers posed by the damaged sections of these structures.

A shopkeeper at Damai Plaza feared that pedestrians might trip and fall if they accidentally stepped in a hole in the pavement outside his unit.

A homeowner in Taman Che Mei, on the other hand, counted seven such holes in the concrete covering a drain along the main road between the neighbourhood and Lido.

Telecommunication cables were found inside the slab-covered chamber.

Both individuals provided Hotline with the location of the damaged walkways which were forwarded to the respective agencies.

A City Hall spokesman said personnel from its Engineering Department checked on the condition of the pavement at the commercial centre in July, a few days after being contacted by the media.

“Our staff found that a concrete slab had partly given way and one corner was missing,” he said.

“The slab covered a chamber which was meant to house some telecommunication equipment.”

He said the agency said it was in the process of sourcing for funds to replace the cover.

Objects had been put on the damaged section of the concrete slab as caution.

“Some plywood has temporarily been placed over the affected section of the five-foot-way to protect pedestrians from injuring themselves.”

He explained that maintenance was carried out on the pavements around the commercial centre as and when it became necessary to do so.

The spokesman acknowledged that City Hall had received a complaint from a local politician about the damaged walkway along Jalan Penampang in March.

“We were helpless to intervene in this instance as this structure is not under our jurisdiction.

“A check revealed that both the roadside drain and concrete covering it belonged to the DID.”

He said the agency’s staff personally liaised with their peers at the Department about the problem involving the latter.

“Our officers were made to understand, on March 17, that the DID was in the process of appointing a contractor to look after the drain.”

When asked why the concrete walkway still had not been repaired after five months, a DID spokeswoman said a funding problem was behind the delay.

“We have just finalised the details of the work,” she said on July 28. 

“We hope to deal with the damage once and for all by the middle of next month.”

She said the Department’s officers inspected the drain earlier this year.

 A rope with reflective strips used to cordon off the area with a missing grill.

“They found that the exposed sections used to house grills which had since gone missing.

“We suspect that scrap-iron thieves may have made off with these fixtures.”

She said a make-shift cordon was put up around some of the “holes” to forewarn pedestrians of the hazards which lay in their path.

“We hung reflective strips on some rope used to block off the exposed sections.

“Metal or plywood sheets could not be placed over the damage as we feared that more of the surrounding concrete might give way and make the holes bigger.”

The spokeswoman said the contractor, tasked with maintaining the drain, was in the midst of having new grills made to replace the ones which were stolen.

“We are monitoring the progress of the individual’s efforts to ensure that the walkway is restored as soon as possible.”

HOO of Luyang said the “hole” in the pavement at Block D of Damai Plaza Phase 3 was hazardous to those going on foot.

“A misstep could result in someone twisting their ankle or worse,” he said.

“I hate to think what could happen if an expectant mother or a senior citizen unwittingly walked into the hole.”

He said a good Samaritan had placed a plastic pole and some Styrofoam into the damaged slab as a stop-gap measure to forewarn shoppers to avoid stepping on the slab.

One of the exposed sections of the walkway between Lido and Taman Che Mei.

Hoo said he had noticed this problem some time ago. 

“Several other proprietors also shared their concerns about the dangers posed by the damaged pavement.”

Some of these unit owners had made the local authorities aware of this problem but so far repairs had yet to be made, according to him.

“I cannot understand how the authorities can be turning a blind eye to this problem.”

Meanwhile, TIAN of Lido expressed his displeasure about the safety hazards posed by the missing grills on the verge between the Jalan Penampang-Jalan Bunga Raja junction and one leading to Lido.

He said these fixtures covered the access points to a drain on the reserve land beside the road.

“Pedestrians risk injuring themselves if they happen to walk into these uncovered sections of the walkway,” he said.

“This can very easily occur at night should the streetlights in the vicinity be rendered out of order.”

Tian suspected that the grills might have been vandalised.

“If this is the case, then the local authorities should look into attaching these grills in such a way so as to make them difficult to be removed.

“Failing this, they should consider fashioning the grills from some other material, such as fibre-reinforced plastic, or replacing them with concrete slabs.”

Tian said he made City Hall aware of his concerns in March but, so far, nothing had been done to cover the exposed sections of the drain.

“I have noticed that some of the holes have become bigger over the interim period,” he said on July 27. 


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