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DID, City Hall to deal with clogged drains
Published on: Wednesday, December 06, 2023
By: Sidney Skinner
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DID, City Hall to deal with clogged drains
A PWD vehicle is seen near the entrance to Taman Ragah.
THE Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) is arranging to deal with a clogged drain in one part of Labuan, while City Hall has called on the government concessionaire to do the same in a Likas neighbourhood.

This action was prompted by feedback from a homeowner in Taman Ragah, and another in Taman Sinar Baru, about the lack of maintenance carried out on these structures.

A DID spokesman said two of its personnel went to Jalan Jumidar Buyong last week to check on the agency’s drain which ran along one side of the road leading to the Labuan residential property.

This frontyard drain in Taman Sinar Baru is full of water vegetation.

“They noted that weeds covered most of the space inside,” he said. 

“Thick clusters of climbing plants had grown on the drain walls near the main entrance to Taman Ragah.”

He said a check of the Department’s records revealed that the monsoon-drain was last cleaned earlier this year.

“The heavy rains which have fallen, on and off, since then are likely to have caused the vegetation to spring up faster than before.”

Despite having reduced the capacity of the drain, he said, the Department’s staff observed that the greenery had not impeded the flow of the water completely.

“The water in the drain may not have been moving quickly but it is still being channelled away. 

“Our officers did not observe any green scum on the surface to indicate that the water had become stagnant.”

Nevertheless, owing to the concerns from the public in the area, he said, the DID would try to have a contractor assigned to de-silt the drain.

“If need be, an excavator may be brought in to facilitate efforts to dredge up the mud and remove the water vegetation from inside.

“Should this be deemed necessary, then we will have to source for the funds to bring in this equipment.”

When asked how often the drain was attended to, the spokesman said there was no fixed schedule for this maintenance.

“We try to have our drains on the island cleaned annually. 

“If the Department’s budget permits, this may be performed once more in that same year.” 

JULIUS, who lives in Taman Ragah, said the flood mitigation drain appeared to be poorly maintained as it was full of water vegetation.

“The drain has not been cleared for some time and is full of sediment,” he said.

“Shrubs and other plants appear to be thriving on the mud at the base of the structure.”

He was at a loss to understand how the local authorities could have turned a blind eye to this situation.

At the end of October, Julius happened to run into a Councillor. 

“I drew his attention to the fact that the drain was not being looked after as it should.

DID staff take note of the weeds which have sprung up in the monsoon-drain along Jalan Jumidar Buyong.

“He assured me that he would try to have my concerns addressed but so far nothing has been done.

“I hope he is not waiting for the water to overflow and flood the road before taking this problem seriously.”

Julius’ grievance was initially forwarded to the Public Works Department and Labuan Municipal Council. Spokesmen for these agencies said they were helpless to intervene as the drain did not fall under their jurisdiction.

The Department’s representative said Jalan Jumidar Buyong was listed in its road register and maintained by the agency.

His counterpart from the Council, on the other hand, said a contractor had been appointed to attend to the housing drains within the compound for Taman Ragah.

Meanwhile, City Hall has called on the government concessionaire to step up its drain-clearing efforts in Taman Sinar Baru.

A spokesman for the agency explained that the company was responsible for maintaining the drains along the housing roads in the State Capital, while City Hall attended to those behind residences under its jurisdiction.

The former structures were cleaned according to a fixed schedule, with the same being done to the latter once every six months, according to him.

“City Hall workers will try to come in even before the scheduled cleaning, to deal with any complaints involving the back-yard drains,” he said.

He said an inspection was made of Lorong Kenawai 7B after the agency was contacted by the media.

“Landscaping staff confirmed that the roadside drain was full of water and clogged with weeds.”

He said the concessionaire was apprised of these findings, shortly thereafter, and advised to take the necessary action.

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