If one takes a tour around Ipoh, he or she gets to enjoy the sights of people, nature and heritage architecture, reminiscent of yesteryears.
However, one may be left baffled by the staggering amount of white-red plastic barriers creating bottlenecks at roundabouts and roads around the city.
These barriers are covers for unsightly sewage upgrading works currently in progress in various parts of Ipoh. Though one may experience some inconveniences while passing these sites, it is, as the authorities have insisted, for the betterment of the city.
The sewage upgrading works, on the whole, have raised eyebrows and are a serious concern for residents.
Round metal covers are being placed over holes dug in the roads and are being paved over. The paving-over jobs are, at best, shoddy. Motorists fear going over them as some look flimsy and in poor condition.
“We appreciate the authorities’ efforts to improve the city’s archaic sewage system but the roads are not being adequately repaired upon completion of a spot,” lamented Kat Wong who lives in Ipoh Garden. Residents, from different housing estates who are affected by this problem, are concerned for their safety when driving past the affected areas.
One of their biggest concerns is the danger these roads pose.
“We’re not aware if any accident has ever happened but it’s just a matter of time,” said Eric, who lives in Tambun. The plastic barriers, according to him, take much of the road space that two lanes have become one. Most motorists become unduly cautious upon seeing a car from the opposite side.
What happens when two cars do not want to give way? A head-on collision is the result.
“I’ve seen cars avoiding the manhole covers. Accidents can happen anytime if drivers are not careful,” sighed Paul, another Ipoh Garden resident.
The one lingering fear most residents have is the possibility of the manhole caving in.
Jack, who lives in Bercham, said that he had a bad experience with regards to the manhole covers. One of his car tyres was punctured after going over one such manhole cover in Bercham.
“Jack was lucky that only his car tyre was punctured. Can the covers stand the weight of heavier vehicles that ply along the roads?” asked Eric.
The Tambun resident revealed that there were instances when the manhole covers were not placed properly. Some were even left slightly ajar. A tragedy is waiting to happen and when it happens, fingers will point in all directions.
Looi, another concerned resident from Gunung Rapat, cautioned that areas where motorists should exercise care when driving, are along roads in Bercham, Pasir Pinji, Fair Park and areas around the stadium. Major road works are concentrated here.
It is hoped that contractors responsible for the upgrading works will ensure adequate measures are taken to safeguard road users.