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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Work at Bulatan Dato’ Onn stalled for months

The abandoned project site at Bulatan Datuk Onn.

The abandoned project site at Bulatan Datuk Onn.

KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is terminating the contract of a company which won the tender to carry out beautification and connectivity works around Bulatan Dato’ Onn in Kuala Lumpur. This contract is worth RM29mil.

Work on the first phase of Heritage Trail 5 was part of the multimillion ringgit River of Life (RoL) which connects to Dataran Merdeka, the Jalan Raja heritage buildings, Jalan Tangsi, Jalan Parlimen and Taman Botani Perdana Kuala Lumpur.

The project was part of the Government’s plan to create iconic landmarks and attractions in the city under the Greater KL/Klang Valley initiative.

It involved the beautification and upgrading of parts of Kuala Lumpur to include pedestrian walkways, information boards, landscaping and shelters to make walking around the city more enjoyable.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said the contract would be terminated on Aug 15 for non-performance.

Traffic at the roundabout can come to a standstill, especially during peak hours.
Traffic at the roundabout can come to a standstill, especially during peak hours.

“We are in the process of appointing a new contractor to complete the project,” Amin Nordin said, citing financial constraints and internal management problems.

The mayor said the contractor had fulfilled all the criteria during the tender process.

“Everything looked okay on paper. They were picked based on the technical and financial aspects and their price was reasonable,” Amin Nordin said, adding that the tender was carried out by the Federal Territories Ministry.

On Sept 18 last year, the middle lane of the Dato’ Onn roundabout (Jalan Parlimen-Jalan Tun Perak) was closed to facilitate construction and installation of a steel bridge, which is part of the heritage trail project.

The closure was supposed to be until Dec 31 last year but the work has stopped and the project is at a standstill.

According to the board located at the site, the plan was for works on the first phase of the Heritage Trail 5 to start on Feb 3 last year and be completed on Jan 31 this year.

Heritage Trail 5 was to be from the National Monument until the main traffic light junction heading into the city along Jalan Parlimen.

The barriers placed around the construction site makes it worse for traffic flow.
The barriers placed around the construction site makes it worse for traffic flow.

Heritage Trail 1 skirts Dataran Merdeka before ending near the Kuala Lumpur train station while another portion of it is along Medan Pasar.

As for Heritage Trail 2, it starts from Jalan Melaka into Jalan Gereja before continuing onto Jalan Raja Chulan to the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve Centre.

Heritage Trail 3 is around the Central Market-Jalan Pudu area and Heritage Trail 4 is along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Petaling Street.

The RoL beautification programme encompasses 750ha of central Kuala Lumpur and a 10.7km stretch of Sungai Kelang and Sungai Gombak.

The total construction value was estimated to be RM1bil and work was to be completed by 2018.

It comprises 11 precincts, and the heritage trails fall under Precinct 7, which is to turn the Masjid Jamek area into a heritage quarter.Roundabout gridlock

Motorists using Jalan Parlimen and Jalan Tun Perak to head towards Jalan Raja Laut and Pudu Sentral have been stuck in gridlock at peak hours for up to an hour.

There are barely any construction materials and no workers at the site, signs that the project has stalled.
There are barely any construction materials and no workers at the site, signs that the project has stalled.

“I was caught in a bumper-to-bumper crawl along Jalan Parlimen for almost an hour last Friday,” griped Anna Tan.

She was heading towards DBKL Menara 1 and said that at one point, the traffic did not move for 10 minutes.

Zamani Khan said two weeks ago, traffic was at a standstill with no policeman in sight at 7pm.

“It was frustrating,” he said.

When StarMetro visited the area at 3pm on a weekday, Jalan Parlimen and Jalan Tun Perak were congested.

Vehicles were barely moving because of barriers placed along the project site to stop encroachment.

Amin Nordin said DBKL had improved its standard operating procedure (SOP) to monitor contractors, including weekly visits to project sites.

“The tell-tale signs is the absence of construction materials and workers. If it is quiet, you know that something is not right,” he said.

It was earlier reported that the 2015 Auditor-General’s Report highlighted delays in four development projects by DBKL.

Amin Nordin had said that the presence of underground cables, logistics and design issues had contributed to the delays.

The projects were only completed after extensions ranging from 110 to 482 days were approved.

The four projects involved the beautification of Medan Pasar and Dataran Merdeka, Heritage Trails 1 and 3 and the Countdown Clock.

Among the reasons given for the time extensions were on-site flood and weather issues, frequent design changes and incompetent contractors.

The report cited that the contract for the Heritage Trail 1, Medan Pasar and Dataran Merdeka projects were offered to a company in the process of going insolvent.

Additionally, lack of coordination between departments and the projects’ secretariat resulted in duplication of work and wastage of government funds.

 

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , Bulatan Onn and RoL

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