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TM blames vandals for removing manhole covers
Published on: Tuesday, April 02, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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TM blames vandals for removing manhole covers
A worker with the PWD’s concessionaire places a make-shift cover over the hole on the median near the school.
VANDALS were to blame for the problems which the administration of a religious research society has had in accessing the Internet from its premises – off Jalan Kolam Minintod in Penampang – for the past three weeks, as well as the exposed access points to underground Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd ducts along Jalan Damai in Luyang.

A TM spokesman said the mischief makers cut part of the cable servicing the area where the society’s building was located and attempted to do the same at different sections at the latter.

“They pried open the covers of the TM manholes near a secondary school, and near a row of shophouses on Jalan Damai,” he said. 

“However, for whatever reason, they left the cables untouched. We suspect that the bad hats may have been metal thieves.

TM staff put their backs into putting back one of the affected manhole covers.

“They were most likely dissuaded from acting on their intent after discovering that our service lines were not copper-based.”

He said fibre optic cables had been laid beneath the verge outside the school fence and beside the commercial property.

“The trouble makers fled the scene without returning the covers to where they had found them.”

Consequently, he said, the access points to the rectangular-shaped ducts along a 346metre-span of the road-shoulder were left open.

The spokesman was responding to feedback that a student had recently fallen into an uncovered manhole on the pavement, near the school gate, and injured himself.

He said TM personnel went to Jalan Damai a day after this incident.

“This individual noted that some poles had been placed into the duct, with the exposed section blocked off behind security tape.

“The cover had been placed beside the open access point.”  

He said the firm’s staff found three other uncovered ducts further up the road from the school: one near Lorong Pokok Palma, the other near Lorong Pokok Tepus and the last near Lorong Kenawai.

This open TM duct in Lorong Pokok Resam has since been sealed.

“One of our contractors returned a few hours after this check. He and his workers closed the open TM manholes and had the covers sealed in place.”

The spokesman said maintenance on these ducts was carried out as and when it became necessary to do so.

“Our technicians have been instructed to be on the lookout for any irregularities involving these structures and to deal with these problems promptly.

“We also hope the public will not hesitate to bring such matters to our attention.”

City Hall was initially asked about the exposed section of the pavement, as the father of the injured student had been under the impression that the walkway belonged to this local authority.

A spokesman for the City Hall’s Engineering Department clarified that this was not the case.

“Jalan Damai, including the pavement, is not listed in our register and, as such, is not maintained by us,” he said. 

A check with the Public Works Department (PWD) revealed that the stretch fell under its jurisdiction.

A PWD spokesman said the concessionaire, tasked with looking after the road, was alerted to what had transpired.

“The company’s workers checked on the condition of the common area around the school on the same day that we were contacted by the press,” he said.

“They found a hole in the divider on the section of Jalan Damai in front of the main building and some broken bricks on the pavement in the vicinity of the entrance to the grounds.”

He said a make-shift cover was immediately placed over the exposed section of the median.

“The concessionaire’s staff returned later to clear the building debris from the five-foot way.” 

Where the stolen cable on Jalan Kolam Minintod was concerned, the TM spokesman said the relevant section was in the process of trying to resolve this situation.

“We are brainstorming on how to expedite the restoration of our telecommunications service in this part of Penampang for the benefit of affected TM customers, like the religious research society,” he said.

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