PJ mayor confident of better response for Deepavali bazaars

New spot: The Deepavali bazaar will take place this month beside the Sri Sakhti Easwari temple (right) in Sungai Way.

DEEPAVALI bazaars in Petaling Jaya will still carry on as planned at all three venues even if there is only one trader who applied for the permit.

“I’m confident more will apply but if none do, then the bazaar will still go on,” said Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain.

He said this after the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) full board meeting yesterday, in response to StarMetro’s article about the lack of response from traders for the Deepavali bazaars.

It had been reported that only one out of 18 lots had been taken up in the Sungai Way Bazaar, none for PJU 10 in Kota Damansara and 14 for the location in Jalan Othman.

Mohd Azizi said the bazaar in Sungai Way had been recently relocated from Jalan SS9A/13 to Jalan SS9A/12 and the move might have caused the dismal response.

“Changing locations is always hard for traders and they do not usually like it,” he said, adding that three petitions had been submitted by some traders for the location to remain unchanged.

However, he has rejected the appeals and reiterated that the decision to move, stays.

“The new location is better not only in terms of space but we also have other markets there including the Ramadan bazaar, so I don’t see why it is such a bad idea to move the Deepavali bazaar here,” he said.

He stressed that all applicants must personally apply for the permits to trade at the bazaars from MBPJ and not through other parties.

Some sources have said traders felt intimidated and compelled to rent stalls at a much higher price from a third party.

“They have no business issuing permits to traders and all applications must be done directly through MBPJ officers at our premises,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Petaling Jaya free school bus service starts today, ferrying schoolchildren to 11 schools along the route.

Between 6.30am and 7.30am, a bus will pick up students from designated stops and send them to schools along the bus route.

Among the schools are SK Petaling Jaya, SMK Assunta, SMJK Katholik and SRK Sri Petaling.

“I would like to stress that we are not trying to compete with licensed school buses.

“We are doing this as an extension of the already existing PJ free bus service after receiving requests from residents,” he said.

Only one bus, which will have a sign to indicate it is being used for the school route, out of the existing 10 PJ free buses will be used.

He added that the bus would not stop for other passengers and would only pick up children dressed in school uniform for the one hour of the service.

“If the response is good, we will extend our services to fetch students after school from 1pm to 2pm,” he said.

During the full board meeting, Mohd Azizi announced that RM5.8mil had been allocated in next year’s budget for the operation of the free bus service, double the amount this year’s allocation of RM2.9mil.

The council also has plans to acquire additional buses as well as two electric buses, in line with their plans for a sustainable city.

On a separate issue, MBPJ is now actively removing illegal stickers touting the services of money lenders found in the city.

Four contractors have been appointed to remove the stickers day and night at eight areas in the city.

The areas are Section 14, Section 16, Section 52, Section 5 and 8, SS2, SS6 Kelana Jaya, SS21 Damansara Utama and PJU 5 Kota Damansara.

There are also 27 streets identified as hotspots, namely Jalan Templer, Jalan Gasing, Jalan Majlis, Jalan Universiti and Jalan Semangat.

To-date, more than 35,000 stickers and banners have been removed by the contractors.

“We are now looking into keeping the stickers removed on a long-term basis and not just short term.

“After we remove it during the day, the stickers go up again at night and this is not the solution,” he said.

One of the ways to tackle this is to use non-stick paint on street lights, signboards and street signs.

MBPJ will also include the use of non-stick paint for all new developments, as a criteria for the approval of projects.

“We will ensure all developers use this non-stick paint too. MBPJ has already put aside allocations to buy the paint,” he said.

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