Mayor Targets Ipoh to be 85% Clean in 1 Year

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By James Gough

Mayor Roshidi

At Ipoh City Council’s last full board meeting held in early September, Mayor Roshidi again raised the issue about Ipoh being recognised as one of the cleanest cities in the country during the ‘80s and added that Ipoh should work hard at trying to get back that status of the “cleanest city”. At the press conference after the full board meeting, Roshidi, when pressed to share his plan on how to regain the ‘cleanest’ status, elaborated that “a ‘makmal’ (laboratory) committee would be set up to focus and identify all aspects of cleanliness from collection to removal and other details.” Roshidi also confirmed that he would be sitting on the committee and tasked to oversee the cleanliness of the city for this year as well as the next.

Promises of Drastic Action: “Take my word” – Roshidi

Ipoh Echo has consistently been highlighting the importance of a clean Ipoh, a reputation we once had as the cleanest town in the country.
When asked what he thought was the current percentage of cleanliness of Ipoh, Roshidi could not respond but added that his immediate goal for a clean Ipoh was 85% which he intended to achieve in one year. Roshidi stated that he planned to “turun padang and go down to the ground” even at night together with his enforcement and community departments to check on offenders and where necessary “would resort to drastic action to summon the offenders, you can take my word on this”.
Cleanliness in Ipoh has always involved the three elements “Sampah, Rumput dan Longkang” or “Rubbish, Grass and Drains”.

Rubbish
The collection of rubbish by outsourced contractors which is done three times per week “is good” said Roshidi adding that the city centre is generally clean. However, the problem is at the residential and suburban areas which involves the ‘sampah haram’ or illegal dump sites. Currently residents who request to clear illegal dump sites are subjected to a RM20 charge for the service. Roshidi also appealed to those who created ‘sampah haram’ sites to not complain about Ipoh being dirty.
Ipoh Echo then highlighted that the clearance of garden waste was the responsibility of MBI where their SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) states that the operation has to be done once a fortnight. However, this cannot be done efficiently currently as the majority of their existing lorries are not functioning.
Roshidi did not respond when asked if new lorries had been ordered for the fortnightly procedure but responded that he “had a good team to effectively deal with this problem. Residents can SMS me (019-5730333) about this problem even at 11pm at night and we will look into it.”
Roshidi highlighted that 90 of the green mild steel bins usually seen at back lanes had been purchased to replace the broken units for this year. In total the cost of rubbish collection services per year is RM11 million.

MBI signboard - grass cutting contractorGrass Cutting and Drain Cleaning
In April this year MBI held a press conference to highlight the successful selection of 44 grass cutting contractors at landscaped areas with 33 contractors dedicated for mowing lawns and cleaning services and 11 maintenance and cleaning services.
According to Roshidi the services of the grass cutters has so far been satisfactory. Based on MBI’s grass cutters’ specifications the mowing at road shoulders and fields should be done twice a month. For government reserve land the work is to be carried out once a month.
MBI has recently erected signboards at the respective zones indicating the grass cutter’s contact details, the schedule to cut grass and includes MBI’s person-in-charge contact reference.

Scope of Work: Grass Cutting
Grass cutting refers to all types of grass, shrubs and wild plants found on roads, road shoulders, road reserves, open spaces, playgrounds, recreational parks, pedestrian walkways, concrete columns, the tarmac, ‘interlocking’, jogging tracks, and reflexology paths.
Other specifications state that grass should be cut close and neat, 2-4 cm from ground level, and the cut grass removed on the same day. Grass growing on pedestrian streets, concrete poles, fences and such are to be sprayed with herbicides. Grass cutting work is to be done up to the boundary of the premises, including the route between the premises. Grass that has fallen into the drain waste should be collected and gathered in a ‘culvert box’ and ‘main hole’. Finally all cut grass, plants and garbage must be dumped into landfills approved by the Council. Currently MBI’s performance score for the contractors is 95 per cent.

Drain Contractors
In mid July 2012, MBI appointed eight drain contractors for work to be done in four zones, Bercham, Canning, Buntong and Tambun. All drain works at the other zones are carried out by MBI’s workers. The reason to outsource this work to the four zones is because their infrastructure is older and requires more effort to maintain.
According to Roshidi, of the eight contractors, only four are so far classified as “good” with two described as excellent and another two “on par”. The other four failed, with one contractor being terminated as of September 16. When enquired why it took so long to terminate a contractor especially since the service to the zone was not fulfilled for two months, Roshidi replied that a termination had to be done as per procedure.

Scope of Work of Drain Contractor
The scope of work included in this contract covers all monsoon drains, cement drains open/closed in residential areas or housing estates and drains on business premises measuring less than three (3) feet. The work also includes drains around golf courses and recreational parks.
Public drain channels should be washed and cleaned and be free from any obstruction. The rate of drain cleaning of monsoon drains is once every 30 days or if there is occurrence of clogged drains after heavy rain.
The rate of drain cleaning indoor/outdoor residential areas or housing estate is once within 21 days or if drains are clogged after heavy rain and on receiving complaints from the public. For business premises this should be done once every 14 days or if clogged after heavy rain or receiving complaints from the public or from the Council.
Cleaning work includes cutting grass (within 2 metres on both sides of the gutter), removing all additional rubbish such as bottles, plastic containers, timber, iron and stones, sand and soil in the drain. All waste should be placed in bags or containers and discarded to approved landfill by lorry.
Water in the drain should be smooth flowing to ensure public drains are free of solid waste including food scraps in the event of flash floods to prevent disease.

Team Effort
Keeping Ipoh clean is going to be a major team effort by Ipoh residents and the Ipoh City Council. Hopefully, with a common knowledge of the goals we can meet Mayor Roshidi’s 85 per cent cleanliness goal.
A list of Ipoh Councillors is shown on page 6 for residents to contact to highlight concerns about cleanliness.

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9 thoughts on “Mayor Targets Ipoh to be 85% Clean in 1 Year

  1. I wonder when was the last time longkang around Jalan Leong Sin Nam was ever cleared. Look into the drain, you’ll see it’s almost filled to the brim with old rubbish. I’ve never seen anybody clearing the longkang before since I’ve been here for more than 5 yrs. The coffee shop hawkers pour curry, noddles, etc into the drain and they just stagnate there, not flowing anywhere. Stand there and inhale. What do you think will happen? I feel so ashamed when I saw tourists hanging around the area looking for food around the area, I’m sure they’ve lost their appetite when they glance down. I’ve complained to MBI numerous times, no action. So MBI, don’t let this be another all talk no action game.

  2. It appears that some Ipohites are really lost ! They still have a long, long way to go. Its very sad though. And I thought they were just a little confused in the first place. Look like now they feel very comfortable and enjoy having dirt around them or even living in dirt itself. Syabas ! And dont play the issue of being ‘ungrateful’. Its like hitting below the belt. It just shows the attitude. Have the courage to face complaints and not fear them. You have nothing to lose.
    We have been Lab Rats all along so we don’t need another lab actually. Nevertheless, it would be an afterthought to have a check and balance, that too if the lab results are accepted. Better check on the accreditation first.

  3. Well done Mr.Mayor for giving your word about attaining 85% cleanliness in one year.

    May I ask the yardstick that you intend to use to benchmark this welcomed claim.

    If the 85% is the budget spent, then I would hasten to add that it would not be too beneficial.

    However, I trust that you are well advised and an index could be published on the MBI website to quieten the unwelcomed complaints with soild facts and figures that add up to the promise of 85% within 12 months.

    By the way, could you please publish the start date so I may also monitor the progress in my own little laboratory, and drop you a line if the planned vs actual shows slippage, to assist in some way to avoid some ungrateful commentators in the Echo from spoiling your day.

  4. congrates mayor !

    just take action !
    ignore those people who alwaz complain but do nothing.

    ‘tak buat pun salah, buat pun salah’.
    if they talk so much, let them do it themselves loh !

    yr own ruubish also want other people to clean up arrrhhh ??!!!

  5. The rubbish collection at Taman Rapat Bahagia is not regular so you see rubbish stacking up in the bins and if there is no cover then the dogs & cats get at it. Also, collectors throw the rubbish bins anywhere they please and the covers go missing as well.

    There is a signboard not to throw at the illegal dump nearby but as usual it gets covered up by rubbish that is not collected.

    It is a cooperation between residents and the council. A suggestion could be to get residents to take pics of those throwing the rubbish, maybe some kids to earn some pocket money, and have those pictures sent to DBI for action.

    I noticed too the notice board with details of the contractor and MBI supervisors it is indeed a waste of money, when a general number should be sufficient.

    It is not an easy job and I would say kudos to the Mayor for this effort albeit belated. Educating people is never easy so is getting the underlings to carry out orders

  6. Again, I have my doubts. I have a suggestion – if Datuk Bandar could officially appoint a resident in the respective zone to assist our ever so busy councillors to look into problems and highlight issues and complaints directly to his personal assistant. I think this would be much more effective than wasting all our time , energy and efforts and best of all – getting all worked up. I see no other solution other than this. No point giving or trageting at statistics. It doesnt work. Seeing is believing. ‘Turun Padang’ isn’t something new, is it ?. If the PM has numerous walk-abouts and shaken hands, why can our ours do so in Ipoh ? Whats the point of the names and tel contact tel nos. in website. Do we have to call them. What ‘turn padang’?. To them ‘turun padang’ is like an invitation. Mayor should put the councillors pictures on the sign boards instead. One comment was to push the dirt down the road to the next neighbour and pour diesel. Come on lah guys, we are not like that. What do you expect the last guy down the road to do then ?. Weakness of attitude determines weakness of character. What good things we do end up building us. We are not insane ratepayers.

  7. One area at Taman Lim where illegal dumping is widely practiced is at Lorong Sengal Rayan. The Taman Lim Residents’ Committee and The Rukun Tettangga Taman Lim/Maxwell are always on the look out for people who flout the law, but the rubbish throwers are smart in carrying out their unwarranted acts. I should say that they are as smart as a fox. We would be grateful, if MBI could provide a dumpster at that area for the residents convienience. The rubbish could be removed at least 2 days once.

  8. It’s a pleasure to read this piece based on the expression by the Mayor. I would be glad if the service of the “Laboratory Committee” is extended to residential areas such as Puncak Jelapang Maju, Jelapang. I find it very irresponsible of some the residents who indiscriminately dump garbage, construction waste, broken furniture, branches, rubble, discarded beds, mattress and list goes on along the surrounding areas.

    Residents living in this area are turning the main road surrounding Taman Puncak Jelapang Maju into a illegal dump site. As a concerned citizen, I have told off to some of the residents, which they unwelcome my views. I have also informed the Ipoh City Council, urging them to clear the rubbish. Thus far, no action has been administered. I hope the Major could help educate some the uneducated residents not to dump rubbish anywhere in the residential area. I also aware that the Council is aware of the situation as other residents too have brought this matter to the Council’s attention. Sadly, there has been no action taken. In this case I blame both the residents and the Council, if we want to keep our town clean, than all of us must co-operate to help one another to achieve the Mayor’s inspiration.

  9. I laughed at the notice board with details of the contractor and MBI supervisors. This is a waste of money. If work is properly done, nobody would complain. Providing these information meant that MBI expects complaints from the residents. If supervisors are changed, this notice board will be useless. Anyway, why can’t anyone just call a general complaints number? Does this mean that complaints about drains will have to be made to another number?

    Most illegal rubbish dumps are because there are no proper place for people to throw their bulky rubbish. MBI should consider putting large rubbish bins in areas where illegal dumps are found. It is better to control the situation rather than prohibiting the act, which MBI is failing miserably at the moment.

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