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Saturday June 30, 2012

Electronic signboards in the city out of order

ABOUT 70% of the variable message sign (VMS) system installed to inform motorists of the traffic situation and the alternative routes to take in Kuala Lumpur are not in working condition.

The Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry via Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has paid about RM12mil to Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) to maintain the VMS systems since it started operations in 2004.

“However, out of the 146 VMS units installed, only 46 are in working condition,” said Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng.

He said he had raised the matter to Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin in Parliament on June 18.

Lim said Nong Chik had replied in a written statement on the same day stating the reasons for the dysfunctional units, which included road-widening and construction work, theft of electric cables and faulty VMS main components.

The statement said DBKL was given an allocation of RM1.5mil per year just to maintain VMS, which include replacing of cables and VMS components, and that DBKL is now upgrading the existing system to provide better information to commuters.

“RM12mil spent in the last eight years is an alarming figure. I assume that the ministry is unable to repair the system since no spare parts are available in the market.

“Shouldn’t the system be assessed and tested out first for at least two years before sealing the contract? For the last eight years, they have been using taxpayers’ money to maintain the system,” he told reporters at his office.

“I would like to know the terms of the agreement and I hope the KL mayor will make a decision to terminate the contract with ITIS, as this involves taxpayers’ money,” he said.

ITIS is a transport information system designed to improve the planning and flow of the city’s traffic system to ensure better management.

Other benefits of VMS include the technology to capture real-time traffic information for incident management and long-term transport planning, alleviate traffic congestion and delays during rush hour as well as emergency situations.

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