Keeping tabs on backyard drains
Published on: Friday, January 13, 2023
By: Sidney Skinner
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Keeping tabs on backyard drains
Action was also taken to tend to the overgrown greenery growing on the shoulder of the Petagas drains.
THE Putatan District Council will step up efforts to maintain the backyard drains in a Petagas neighbourhood while the Drainage and Irrigation Department will do the same for one in Manggatal.

Both agencies had these structures cleaned recently, following feedback that the drains – as well as the reserve land on other side – had not been dealt with for some time.

A Petagas homeowner bemoaned the stench coming from the drains outside his premises, while his counterpart in Manggatal spoke out about the recurring inconvenience caused by flashfloods in his area.

The latter hoped the large drain running beside his neighbourhood would be attended to regularly to mitigate this problem.

Both individuals provided Hotline with the location of the affected drains. This information was forwarded to the respective agencies.

A Council spokesman said its staff checked on the condition of the housing drains in Taman Park shortly after the nuisance highlighted by the rate-payer.

“He noted that the run-off was not flowing smoothly due to the presence of water vegetation which was thriving inside,” he said.

“The greenery on the shoulders was also found to be overgrown.”

He said a six-man strong team from the agency returned to the neighbourhood after a few days to address these irregularities.

“Our workers dredged up the sediment and weeds from the drain with ‘cangkuls’ (hoes).

“Later, they used ‘parangs’ (machetes) to trim the long grass on the reserve.”

On top of this, the government concessionaire was informed that the roadside drains there needed attention, according to him.

The spokesman explained that the firm looked after the drains outside the front gates while the Council was responsible for those beyond the fences at the back.

He said the latter were maintained according to a schedule, but declined to elaborate on how often this work was performed.

JIMM of Petagas lamented the poor management of the drains in front and behind his home in Taman Park, saying that the water took a long time to recede in these structures.

“Silt and a green scum has formed on the surface of the water inside as the drains are clogged with water vegetation,” he said.

“I suspect that the run-off is stagnating as a stench often comes indoors from the direction of the drains.”

On top of this, the grass on the reserves at the back and side of his house also had not been trimmed in a long time.

Jimm said the lack of maintenance did not bode well for the well-being of rate-payers, like himself, who lived along Lorong Park 2.

“I have noticed a lot of mosquitoes buzzing about inside my home at night. 

“We could very well experience a dengue outbreak, as I suspect that Aedes mosquitoes have begun breeding in the drains.”

He said this situation was further exacerbated by the dry spell in the district.

“The lack of rain has resulted in pools of still water where mosquitoes can thrive.”

He appealed to the local authorities to do something as soon as possible about the drainage given the heightened concern about the disease around the district off late.

Meanwhile, the Department is keeping an eye on the large drain which runs beside some homes in Taman Sepanggar Phase 2, which were flooded twice in the last quarter of 2022.

A spokeswoman for the agency said one of its contractors de-silted the structure and cleared the blooms of water hyacinths which had formed inside last month.

“An excavator was deployed to facilitate these efforts,” she said. 

“Extra care was given to removing any obstructions from around the outlets for the drain.

“The contractor’s workers also cleared the unkempt greenery from the land on either side of the structure.”  

When asked how often the agency’s monsoon drains were cleaned, she said there was no fixed schedule for this work.

“We try to have our drains outside the city-limits cleaned annually. 

“If our budget permits, this may be performed once more in that same year.” 

The spokeswoman said the Department’s drains in the State Capital were generally attended to between three to four times annually.

The spokeswoman said structural maintenance was conducted when it was deemed necessary.

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