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Putatan Council steps up efforts to maintain drains, backyards
Published on: Thursday, February 01, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Putatan Council steps up efforts to maintain drains, backyards
The Taman Bersatu homeowner takes stock of the maintenance effort carried out by the District Council.
THE District Council will step up efforts to maintain the drain and reserve land behind some homes in a Putatan neighbourhood, while City Hall has vowed to do likewise in a Likas housing area.

A homeowner at the first location spoke out about the hazards posed by the unkempt common land at the back of her property, after catching sight of a snake slithering among the thick weeds there.

Her counterpart in Likas, on the other hand, suspected that the drain outside her kitchen might need to be desludged due to the foul smell which had been wafting into her house from the structure. 

The Council’s staff clearing the mud from the drain off Lorong Linsuk.

These individuals provided Hotline with the location of the drains in question, which was forwarded to the respective agencies.

A Council spokesman said a preliminary inspection was made of Taman Bersatu Phase 2, shortly after it was contacted by the media.

“Our staff noted that water vegetation was thriving inside the backyard drain, off Lorong Linsuk,” he said.

“Owing to this, the run-off could not flow smoothly and was stagnating.”

The greenery on the shoulders was also found to be overgrown, according to him.

Six workers from the agency returned to the neighbourhood on the following day to address these irregularities.

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

“They used ‘parang’ (machetes) to remove the trees from the reserve, with our grass-cutters later moving in to deal with the undergrowth.”

On top of this, the agency unclogged the roadside drains in this part of the neighbourhood and tended to the plants on the verge, according to him.

“This was done on compassionate grounds, in view of the coming Chinese New Year celebrations, as neither these structures nor the government land on either side are under our jurisdiction.”

He said the government concessionaire was responsible for looking after this common area.

“We called on the firm to step up efforts to maintain the frontyard drains and the reserve land near these structures.” 

When asked how often the common drains behind homes in Taman Bersatu were attended to, the spokesman said the Council tried to have this done at least “two to three times” a year.

“We do not have enough manpower to consistently keep to this schedule. 

“Given the extensiveness of our rating area, our six-man crew cannot be everywhere at once. 

“So, we try to deal with the drains and land on the shoulders as and when it becomes necessary to do so.”

A spokesman for the City Hall’s Landscaping Department explained that the same concessionaire was responsible for maintaining the drains along the housing roads in the State Capital, while the agency 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.

“Our workers will try to come in even before the scheduled cleaning, to deal with any complaints involving the backyard drains,” he said.

When it came to the grass on the drain reserves around residential properties, he said this maintenance was carried out by City Hall staff on a monthly basis.

He said a 10-man strong team from the Department went to Lorong Kenari 2 to clear the weeds and mud from the backyard drain behind the Taman Likas Jaya rate-payer’s house, on the same day that the agency learned of her grievance.

“Our Drain Clearing Unit has been asked to check on the condition of the drain and the reserve land regularly to ensure that this problem does not recur.”

MARCY, who lives in Taman Bersatu, said the drains in front and at the back of her house appeared to be poorly maintained as they were full of weeds.

“The base of these structures must be full of mud as they have not been cleaned in such a long time,” she said.

“The water inside the drains is likely to be stagnating as a foul smell occasionally wafts over from their direction.” 

She decried the reserves on either side of these structures as being a public safety risk, saying that the overgrown greenery was likely to be harbouring dangerous reptiles.

“I have forbidden my grandchildren from playing near the drains as I recently spotted a snake slithering between the long grasses,” she said.

Marcy was at a loss to understand how the Council could have turned a blind eye to these unnecessary problems.

City Hall’s Landscaping team put their backs into de-sludging the backyard drain off Lorong Kenari 2.

“We wouldn’t have to put up with the stench and be mindful of the pests if only the drains were cleaned and the grass was cut regularly.” 

JEETRA of Likas said she had to keep her kitchen door and windows closed to minimise the possibility of the stench coming indoors.

Despite this effort, she said the stench could still be detected, especially at night, which made it difficult for her to get a restful sleep. 

“Even spraying a whole can of air-freshner around my place doesn’t help in easing this nuisance,” Jeetra said.

“Me and my neighbours fear the negative impact on our health from constantly inhaling the unsettling fumes given off by the water inside the drain.”

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