KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is struggling to maintain public parks in the city with its limited budget.
Many of the amenities and facilities at these parks have been damaged by vandals and the homeless.
DBKL Landscape and Recreation Department director Puteri Khairul Fathiah Fahimudin said they are given a yearly allocation of RM14mil to maintain parks and another RM35mil for upgrading works.
The are currently 17 large public parks in the city and about 20 pocket parks.
“We want more private companies to adopt parks under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.
“The companies can sign a contract to maintain the park for a set number of years which may be extended. We have approached several companies and so far, five have shown strong interest.
“When the responsibility of maintaining the parks is shared, everyone gains,” Puteri said.
One success story is Standard Chartered Bank (M) Sdn Bhd’s adoption of a pocket park in Jalan P. Ramlee in 2012.
It was renamed “Laman Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur”.
“The bank has been doing a great job of maintaining the park.
“It signed a five-year deal with DBKL and this may be extended by another two years if both parties agree,” she said.
City Hall has also explored other ways to get companies to help maintain public parks and spaces.
Two developers in the city, JL99 Development Sdn Bhd and Eco World Development Sdn Bhd, had to upgrade parks near their project sites included in their development order.
JL99’s Lake Park Residence @ KL North project upgraded the 13.3ha area including the Tasik Seri Murni retention pond, off Jalan Ipoh.
The developer is revitalising the recreational landmark by adding attractions like a cantilever deck, jogging track, boardwalk, outdoor gym, look-out point, mega tree sculptures, and pontoon jetty.
It will also feature a bird island with more than 300 birds including ostriches, swans, peacocks, and ducks.
The park which is expected to open by the end of the year, would also have security guards on duty around the clock, as well as closed-circuit television cameras.
Meanwhile, Eco World Development is in the midst of putting the finishing touches to the 1.1ha park in Jalan Ipoh, next to its Ecosky project.
StarMetro had reported earlier that the upgrading works cost RM1mil and the park would have a canopy walk, jogging track, exercise equipment and landscaping, with an additional 227 trees planted.
Once open, the park will not only benefit residents in Ecosky, but also those living in Taman Wahyu and Taman Mastiara, including the PPR Taman Wahyu.
Veritas Design Group has also adopted the pocket park near its office in KLCC.
Veritas Design president and chief executive officer David Mizan Hashim said the 0.4ha park located at the Jalan Ampang/Jalan P.Ramlee junction only had a few plants before.
“We have spent RM50,000 to landscape the area.
“The park now features a variety of plants and sculptures that are photo-friendly.
“There is also a path so that people can go inside the park for photo opportunities,” he said.
Puteri said Hap Seng Land Sdn Bhd would be adopting the 0.18ha Ain Arabia or Arab Square near Jalan Berangan/Jalan Beremi junction in Bukit Bintang which has become an eyesore.
“We will get rid of the gazebos to prevent vagrants from sleeping there. The Arab-themed decorations will be removed and more greenery and plants added.
“More benches will be built and a walking path will be constructed too,” she said.
Puteri added that Pan Asia Sdn Bhd has also shown interest in adopting a 0.18ha pocket park in Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang.
The Kuala Lumpur Festival City mall in Setapak is in talks with DBKL to upgrade the 13.3ha Taman Danau Kota.
“There is a row of restaurants on the ground floor of the mall facing the lake.
“The management plans to introduce al-fresco style dining overlooking the lake,” she said.
DBKL is also identifying small open spaces with potential to be developed into pocket parks.
“We also need help to upkeep the 408 playgrounds under our care.
“We hope more residents associations will adopt parks in their neighbourhoods.
“We will assist them in managing the parks,” she said.