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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All town buses do not enter Medan Kidd Bus Station to drop and pick up passengers. A number of them park along the road in front of the bus station reducing the dual carriageway road to a single lane and restricting traffic flow.
These buses are parked for quite some time in front of the Banana Leaf Restaurant and occasionally the driver is not in his seat. The conductor uses a haler to call for passengers. Passengers dash across the busy road to catch the bus. There is an underpass, but people are scared to use it. I come across this often when I am driving and cannot take photos. I had the opportunity to take a photo on a Sunday morning when there was not much traffic. During weekdays this road is busy and used as the main entrance to ACS school.
Buses also stop abruptly at the corner of the road in front of the roundabout to pick up passengers, causing motorists to brake suddenly.
MBI parking attendants are very efficient in summoning motorists who are overdue by five minutes only. How come they are blind to this situation? Are they only authorised to summon cars?
Action must be taken against the irresponsible bus companies and drivers. All town buses must enter the bus station and not cause traffic jams along the roads in front of the bus station.
While 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?
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.
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.
I drive past Taman DR Seenivasagam often and noticed a new signboard pointing the way to River Walk. I decided to visit the place. While driving along the entrance road which is designed for single-lane traffic, I noticed that cars were parked all along the side of the road next to the football field.
During my return journey, I noticed that two cars ahead of me had stopped when the road in front was clear. Then I realised that they had stopped to let the on-coming cars pass through. Two big cars cannot pass through the narrow road. Some drivers had to fold in their side mirrors to go through. Cars have difficulty passing each other. Motorists are aware of the problem and I wonder why no one has highlighted it.
A few irresponsible drivers are making life miserable for visitors to the park. MBI must immediately put a stop to parking along this road. There are ample parking places in the park. The drivers are lazy to walk. Cars parked along the road must be clamped.
In fact, I also had to park my car in an unsafe manner to take photos and observe the problem.
A food court is being constructed at the traffic light junction of Maxwell Road and Jalan Taman Pari in front of the Syariah Court. This is a busy junction and motorists from Jalan Taman Pari turn into Maxwell Road and cut across to the right lane; causing a traffic jam. There is no parking facility here. Behind the food court, a new project consisting of shop houses is coming up. This is going to increase the parking problem and traffic congestion.
Abdul Halim Saad, Director, MBI Licensing and Enforcement Department demolished stalls in Kampong Pengkalan Pegoh because they were located at a dangerous spot along a busy road. If Abdul Hamid demolishes stalls in the outskirts of the city because they are in dangerous locations, then how was permission given for construction of a food court at this place? Why the double standard?
MBI officers must visit the site and put a stop to the project. No public hearing was held with the residents to get their views. Meanwhile there are stalls operating in the afternoon and at night in this area. There are also a number of restaurants. There is no need for a new food court at this particular place. The Syariah court has a large parking area which is mostly empty and if necessary, can build a food court there. This would be more appropriate.