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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Cabbies and vendors main cause of traffic congestion

Busy: Jalan U- Thant, near the Bangladesh High Commission, is congested with vehicles. – Pho to by JAROD LIM / THE STAR

Busy: Jalan U- Thant, near the Bangladesh High Commission, is congested with vehicles. – Pho to by JAROD LIM / THE STAR

GETTING in and out of their houses has become a chore for residents living near several embassies and high commissions as the roads are often blocked by taxis and mobile hawkers.

They are especially irked by the taxi drivers “camped” outside their gates to wait for passengers.

A resident who only wanted to be known as Khoo, said taxi drivers and mobile vendors would double park outside the Bangladesh High Commission in Jalan U-Thant and take up parking space.

“It is a nuisance and I find it difficult to get in and out of my house.

“The end of Jalan U-Thant is a cul-de-sac and their presence has made it very difficult for motorists,” she said.

Another member of the public, whose office is located in a house near the Embassy of The Republic of The Union of Myanmar, said motorists regularly parked or stopped in front of the gates.

“This is a nuisance because we have to honk and wait for them to move their vehicles,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nurul Akmar who also works near the embassy, said there was occasional traffic congestion but it was manageable.

Residents and the high commission say they have alerted the local authorities.

The situation

StarMetro visited the areas that were the focus of the public complaints.

Near the Bangladesh High Commission, taxi drivers and mobile vendors double-parked and left only one lane for motorists.

Some of the mobile vendors were seen preparing food on the pedestrian walkway while others sold food and beverages from a van or motorcycle.

Along Jalan Tun Razak where the Indonesian Embassy is located, a slight traffic congestion could be seen as taxi drivers parked by the roadside to wait for passengers.

Occasional traffic congestion were seen outside the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.CHAN TAK KONG/The Star
Traffic congestion occurs only occasionally near the Indonesian Embassy

At the Myanmar Embassy, there was a similar problem with taxi drivers parked illegally by the roadside to take passengers, in addition to private vehicles stopping on the road side to drop off passengers.

Shahril Abdullah, who looks after security for a few houses along Jalan U-Thant, said the mobile vendors also contributed to a lot of rubbish around the area.

“We have informed Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and sometimes their enforcement personnel will be here.

“However, the situation goes back to normal when they are not around,” he said, adding that the rubbish was not disposed of properly.

Improvement soon

Bangladesh High Commission counsellor and head of chancery, A.M. Anisul Haque said taxi drivers had made Jalan U-Thant into a taxi stand to pick up customers.

“This creates a lot of problems for people staying nearby.

“The mobile vendors are occupying parking space that is already in short supply, and they obstruct traffic. When our staff asked the taxi drivers and mobile vendors to leave, we were told off.

“We have complained to DBKL and SPAD and they come here separately to check on the matter.

“After a while, the problem arises again,” said Anisul.

Other diplomatic missions in the vicinity including the Turkish and Italian embassies situated near the Bangladesh High Commission, are also affected.

Mobile vendors are selling food by the roadside and one of the taxi actually stop in the middle of the road and allow the passenger to buy the food.
A taxi stopping in the middle of the road to allow a passenger to buy food from one of the mobile vendors selling food by the roadside.

Anisul said the High Commission had outsourced the issuance of passports to a local company at a different location, as such he expected the situation to improve soon.

“The crowd is made up of those coming to collect their passports made here earlier.

“Now, only those who want to renew their visa and travel passes will have to come here.

“We hope DBKL and SPAD will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.

A DBKL spokesman said mobile vendors were given permission to conduct their business in specific areas during certain periods, and action would be taken if they flout the regulations.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , Family Community , embassy , foreigner , myanmar


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