Tag Archives: A. Jeyaraj

Footpaths Need Maintenance

Share

Thumbs Down

While the Riverfront Hotel was under construction, food stalls were built along the bank of Kinta River next to the Jalan Lim Bo Seng bridge. Concrete footpaths with plants on either side were constructed. Other flower plants and trees were also grown and the place was lighted at night. Customers eating in the stalls were expected to stroll along the footpaths and enjoy the sight of the river.

Footpaths Need Maintenance

Recently when I visited the place on a Sunday morning, I noticed that the front side of the stalls facing the road was newly painted, but the back of the stalls facing the river were not maintained and needs repair. Not all the stalls are open for business.

The plants along the footpaths were not trimmed with grass and weeds in the surrounding areas proliferating. Even in the morning I was scared to walk along the footpath in case I might encounter an unfriendly reptile.

The owner of the end stall has built a big extension with a semi-circular roof which looks rundown and is out of place in that area.

With the opening of the River Walk, this place has been neglected. As usual when something is new it is maintained and over the years it is abandoned. We must change our maintenance culture. This is supposed to be a tourist attraction.

A.   Jeyaraj

Kinta Riverfront Park Abandoned

Share

Thumbs Down

The Ipoh Waterfront Project spanning from Tanjung Rambutan to Pengkalan costing RM200 million was initiated by former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali in 2004. The first phase of the project was Kinta Riverfront Park which was built at the site of former People’s Park costing RM4.4 million. It is located beside the Kinta River Bridge along Jalan Iskandar Shah (Hugh Low Street).

It has fountains, a children’s playground and a recreation pool for children. There are a number of shelters with benches. The trees along the perimeter provide shade. The anchor tenant was a nasi kandar restaurant.

The recreation pool is now dry and the fountains are not working. The restaurant has closed down. On a Sunday morning visit, the place was deserted except for old men sitting under the shelters. Youngsters were sleeping on the benches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The pool was very popular with young children. With the pool closed there are hardly any visitors. The nasi kandar restaurant was also popular and when it was opened there was congestion along Jalan Iskandar Shah at night.

There is stagnant water in the basin of the fountains which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. There are also other receptacles containing stagnant water. Although the landscape contractor keeps the place relatively clean, which is easy due to the low numbers of visitors, however, the plants are not properly trimmed. Also there are signs that the contractor is burning garbage next to the river bank.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are three entrances to the park through arches and the signages on the arches are missing.

At night, the lighting appears inadequate for a public park. Two ladies are running a stall with no sign of customers. It’s no wonder as there are no signboards and people are not aware of its existence.

I’m wondering why MBI is abandoning this park. This was one of the popular recreational places in the city.

A. Jeyaraj

Kinta River a Tourist Attraction?

Share

Thumbs Down

On a Sunday morning drive along Jalan Lim Bo Seng to visit the Memory Lane flea market, I noticed that the level of water in Kinta River was very low, the lowest I have ever seen.

Half of the dam built across the river to maintain minimum height of water in the river had collapsed and water was flowing freely. Many dead fishes were floating in the slow-moving water. Many dead fishes were also stuck at the side of the river and a fishy smell was strong.

Kinta River

A big log was lying on the river bed. Old debris was lying mostly at the side of the banks with other garbage and Indah Water is still discharging its foamy effluent into the river.

River Walk is being promoted as the latest tourist attraction in the city. What impression would  tourists have about our city when they see the condition of the river.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) must immediately take remedial action and restore the river to its natural state.

Meanwhile, I went to Sungai Pari to see the condition there. From Jalan Raja Bridge I noticed the level of water was low, but was flowing freely. The water looked less muddy, hardly any garbage floating and there were no dead fishes. There was silting at the sides and many of the retaining concrete walls have collapsed. It looks like the river is not being maintained either.

A. Jeyaraj

Retention Pond in Merdeka Garden – a Failed Design

Share

A. JeyarajiSpeak

By A. Jeyaraj

When I first saw clean filtered water flowing through the holes in the retaining wall into the new retention pond in Merdeka Garden, I thought it was an ingenious design. However, a few days later when I visited the site after rain, I noticed that the water from the drain was overflowing the retaining wall and garbage flowed into the retention pond. The pond was littered with floating garbage. When I visited the place during the dry season recently, the water level in the drain was low and hardly flowing. The entrance to the filters was clogged with garbage. Since the site is fenced I was not able to take a closer look. The system seems to be a failure.

Water overflowing retaining wall

The Drainage & Irrigation Department (DID) has to look into the design because this is a mechanical system and needs frequent maintenance.

Silting is already taking place and weeds are growing at the far end of the pond which serves as a nesting ground for birds.

The grass inside the fenced area has been cut, but the garbage sticking to the sides of the pond has not been removed. Empty plastic bottles are lying around and the guardhouse is closed. In case of flooding must the residents call the guard?

Front of filter clogged with garbage

The contractor has not cleared the site. Interestingly, a creeper is growing on top of one of the lamp posts. (A bird must have dropped a seed and it has taken root.) The workers’ shed has not been dismantled and plenty of rubbish is lying around. There is a pond with stagnant water which is a good place for mosquitoes to breed.

Many healthy trees which were nesting places for birds were cut for this project. The trees should be replanted so that birds and reptiles can return to their habitat.

Constructing the retention pond to prevent flooding during the rainy season is good, but it must be maintained; if not it would become an eyesore.

Is Indah Water Polluting Kinta River?

Share

Thumbs Down

Is Indah Water polluting Kinta RiverWhile visiting the Palong Tin Museum I noticed that the Indah Treatment Plant in Waller Court was pumping soapy water into the Kinta River. Plenty of foam was floating at the discharge point. Since the water in the river was hardly flowing, the foam was floating up to the middle of the river.

I spoke to Hamdi bin Bawan, Unit Manager of Indah Water, on the situation. The following day he called me and said that there was a malfunction in the plant and the problem had been solved. He thanked me for bringing this to his attention. However, when I visited the place a few days later I noticed that soapy water was still being discharged into the river.

I went to the Indah Treatment Plant in Merdeka Garden to see the situation there. I noticed that water was flowing out of the plant into the drain; it was gravity flow. The water was normal, not foamy.

Can Indah Water assure that the water being discharged is not polluting the river? What is the composition of the water? It is just upstream from the equipment that is measuring the quality of water in the river. Will this affect the measurement?

A. Jeyaraj

Palong Tin Museum in State of Neglect

Share

A. JeyarajiSpeak

The Palong Tin Museum in Kinta River Walk was opened about a year ago. It is one of the initiatives of the Morubina Group as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) project. However, many residents in Ipoh are not aware of its existence.

The notice board on the door of the building states that the museum is open daily from 6pm to 11pm, entrance fee is RM2 for adults and show times are at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. When I went there at 8pm, the only person around was the Nepali security guard who said there is no entrance fee and there are no shows. They were supposed to show a video on ‘Operational Palong’. There were a few other visitors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are only a few exhibits inside the building, a tin ingot, samples of tin ore and other items. The main attraction is the large size aerial photograph of Old Town. There is a detailed write-up of the tin industry from the early 1800s to the present. During the official opening it was stated that there will be a guide to brief visitors on the history of tin mining, but there was no guide.

There is a spiral staircase to the basement and there are a couple of exhibits and a TV with three benches in front. The exit doors are closed and in case of emergency one cannot get out.

There are more exhibits outside the building; a half-century old palong is on display. Various other equipment and machinery used in the mining industry are on display. There are also huts with thatched roofs with machinery inside. The huts are not maintained and weeds and creepers are growing. There is no write-up about the exhibits and visitors do not know the function of the equipment.

A visit to the museum is supposed to be an educational outing, where visitors can learn about tin mining history in Kinta Valley. With no explanation or guide it does not serve its purpose. Lighting is not adequate and the place is dark at night when the museum is officially open.

Kong Cheok Loon, Admin Manager who is in charge of the museum agreed that the museum is not well known and attempts are being made to procure more exhibits. He said publicity is needed to promote the museum to local residents and outstation tourists.

The museum is supposed to be a tourist attraction; however opening hours may not be attractive for tour operators to bring tourists. During late evenings, tour operators would be taking tourists to night markets and food courts.

Morubina put up the museum with good intention, but they may not have the expertise to operate it. They must team up with the right people to run it. More exhibits and publicity is needed. Videos about the mining industry can be screened. The opening hours must be reviewed.

A. Jeyaraj

Trees along pedestrian walkway

Share

Thumbs Up

trees along pedestrian walkway

MBI has planted trees along the pedestrian walkway on many roads in the city centre. It is pleasant to see greenery in the midst of a concrete jungle. The trees with tall slender barks and different shapes of bushy tops look beautiful. It is nice to see real trees instead of planting plastic trees as was done previously in some areas.

These trees absorb carbon dioxide emissions from the vehicles and produce oxygen making the atmosphere healthy. They provide shade and also a place for birds to nest in the town area.

The trees especially in front of KFC in Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar have grown tall and are not only beautiful but also provide shade at the busy junction. Similar sites exist in a number of other areas.

The down side is that in a few of places, the height of the bush is very low and pedestrians have to be careful not to hurt their heads. One example is the tree in front of Kamdar Store on Jalan Raja Musa Aziz. There are also locations where the trees obstruct pedestrians from walking.

trees along pedestrian walkway

The trees are planted all over the city and I have just highlighted a couple of them which were brought to my attention. The idea is very good and appreciated by the residents. However, the Landscaping Department must inspect them and ensure they are properly maintained and safe for pedestrians to walk.

A. Jeyaraj

Inconsiderate Garbage Dumping

Share

Thumbs Down

Garden refuse and other garbage from Club Condominium, in Laluan Harimau opposite the Golf Club, are being dumped at the junction of Tiger Close, a narrow road near the condominium. Upon seeing the pile of garbage, other residents have started to throw their garbage there. About half of the road is blocked by garbage. Within a few days new garbage was added to the pile.

Tiger Close

Tiger CloseDr Loh Seck Poh, a resident living in Tiger Close, said that previously MBI did collect the garbage occasionally, but lately there has been no collection for months. The place looks like a dump site and at times the pile is almost the height of an adult person. Since this is a narrow road it is difficult and dangerous to drive, near misses happen frequently.

During the meeting I arranged between Ee Cheng Tak, Committee Head, Residents Committee, Club Condominium and Dr Loh, Ee agreed that the pile of garbage next to the condominium is an eyesore. He informed that he had visited MBI a number of times and complained. No action has been taken.

Ee acknowledged the problem faced by residents living on Tiger Close. He assured that in future he will make arrangements for the garden refuse to be stored within the condominium prior to collection.

A. Jeyaraj

Pavement Defects

Share

Thumbs Down
By A. Jeyaraj

Recently when I went shopping in Little India, for the first time I parked my car in front of Siva Sakthi Restaurant on Jalan Sultan Yussuf (Belfield Street) and walked to Lahat Road. I was shocked to see the condition of the pedestrian walkway which is not safe to walk. This is a short L-shaped section along the front and side of the shop lot.

In many places the interlocking bricks have sunk into the sand and are displaced. There are a number of potholes. A pipe is jutting out in the middle of the passageway causing a serious  tripping hazard.  It appears that the ground was not compacted before laying the bricks. I lost count of the number of places that are damaged in the short stretch. Pedestrians are walking on the busy road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have walked along many pedestrian walkways in the town, but have not come across one like this with so many defects in a short stretch. I am not exaggerating. Those interested can go and see for themselves.

MBI engineers must inspect the place and take action against the contractor who did the job. The inspector who certified the job must also be questioned. Get it repaired before someone trips and fractures their leg.

Bring Back Boating in Taman D R Seenivasagam

Share

A. JeyarajiSpeak

By A. Jeyaraj

Back in the old days many parents brought their children to Taman D R Seenivasagam for recreation. Boating in the scenic fish pond was one of the main attractions and was popular with children and adults. When I looked at the photos on the internet which were taken in those days, I noticed that the place looked very clean and beautiful. However, I did not come across photos with the boats.

Recently, when I visited the pond I realised that it has been neglected for quite some time and is not being maintained. The boating activity disappeared some time back. The water is dirty and filled with garbage. The trees which have fallen into the pond have not been removed. The sides of the pond are not properly maintained. There is no grill in the drain flowing into the pond to stop the garbage entering into the pond.

Taman D R SeenivasagamThe plants and flowers grown at the sides of the bridges crossing the pond are not maintained. Wild plants and trees are growing. The abandoned boat landing is still there and is an eyesore. The dustbins are not emptied and are overflowing. More dustbins are needed at strategic locations. There is no proper walkway along the perimeter of the pond.

There are a number of fallen trees and garbage around the pond which has not been removed. The bamboo shoots growing along the edge are not trimmed. Silting has occurred in certain places.

Taman D R SeenivasagamWhen I was there, an old man was catching small fishes from the pond. If small fishes are caught, how is the fish population going to be maintained?

The place is still popular and I saw many parents bringing their children to see and feed the fishes with bread. The children enjoy the sight of voracious freshwater fish shoving each other for a tiny bite of bread.

What Ipohites expect is the pond to be restored to the condition it was in the good old days. If it could be done then, I do not see any reason why it cannot be maintained now with new technology and the additional manpower that MBI has. This popular tourist attraction and landmark of Ipoh must not be neglected.

The public are not expecting too much from MBI. They want Ipoh to be maintained as it was during the Seenivasagam era. Ipoh used to be the trendsetter for the country.