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Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 7:48:26 AM
by yee xiang yun
The fan palm tree on a triangular island at the Jalan Bagan-Jalan Chain Ferry junction that blocks the view of motorists.
JOHOR BARU: The short-changing of construction plans and poor maintenance works were the two main issues bogging the state Landscape Department as revealed in the Auditor-General’s Report 2012.
The report stated that the department’s beautifying and landscaping development programmes were less satisfactory as there were areas of weaknesses that needed to be improved.
Among the weaknesses identified were the lack of landscape maintenance and upkeep, construction of pavilions that were not built according to the original building plan, non-systematic approval of landscaping applications and no studies done to compare prices of ornamental plants and landscape accessories in the market.
The report also highlighted the short-change of construction materials in several districts including Batu Pahat, Kluang and Pontian where the pavilions and sitting areas were not constructed according to the proposed plans.
It added that the quality of the building materials used was not up to par and there were shoddy works where the nails were not properly hammered into the floorboards and steps.
Meanwhile, the short-changing of construction materials could be seen in several schools in Batu Pahat and Kluang where wooden benches were installed rather than concrete ones without following the original plans.
The stepping stones leading up to an outdoor sitting area of libraries in the schools in the two districts were not installed despite the stepping stones being included in the original plan.
The report also pointed out that the department did compare prices of ornamental plants, hence it had to fork out a large sum of money for plants that were sold much cheaper than the department had paid.
For instance, the department paid RM200 for a fan palm, which costs only RM18 each at certain nurseries, while they bought Sago palm for RM135 (market price RM50), Bird Nest Fern at RM48 (RM10) and Black Olive Tree at RM405 (RM80).
The report rated the department’s efforts as “less satisfactory” as there was also no long-term plans drawn up for the Taman Botani in Batu Pahat.
The recreational park, on a 99.16ha recreational area located in Sri Medan, Batu Pahat, where the department was responsible for the coordination, development and management of the place.
The report recorded that the department spent RM3.14mil to beautify and develop the park between 2010 and 2012 but the project showed no signs of completion despite having gone on for seven years.
The A-G suggested that a specific plan be drawn up, listing the time frame for the development to be completed and the date when the park could be opened to the public.
Other areas of concern included lack of maintenance such as dried plants that were not watered, uncut grass, damaged fences and wooden beams.
According to the A-G Report 2012, the state government allocated RM5.73mil to the department between 2010 and 2012.
From the amount, RM5.03mil was used for beautifying and landscaping works at public parks, schools, mosques or surau and government agencies while the remaining RM0.69mil was for publicity activities such as competitions and celebrations.
Tags / Keywords:
Government, Southern & Eastern Region, Landscape Department, Auditor-General Report 2012, shoddy, non-systematic, plans, ornamental plants
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