Drains near eateries found clogged with oily discharge and rubbish

Xxxxxxxxxxxx: Hawker Jamil Katertani showing the grease trap installed at his stall in Medan Renong Complex at the Esplanade. (CHRISTOPHER TAN / THE STAR / JAN 10, 2015)

DESPITE the state’s efforts to keep Penang clean and green, many local eateries sadly do not share the same vision.

A check by The Star found the drains outside these premises clogged with rubbish and oily discharge. Rats were even spotted making these areas their nocturnal playground.

Near a coffee shop in Balik Pulau, a drain was seen filled with murky water, the colour of milk tea, with a layer of oil.

There were plastic bags, sweet wrappers and other rubbish dumped into the drain.

Another drain beside a coffee shop in Sungai Nibong was clogged with a black coloured discharge with a strong stench.

Similar sights also greeted The Star when the reporter checked the drains near the eateries in Penang Road, Batu Lanchang, Perak Road and Batu Ferringhi recently.

However, drains in Medan Renong Complex at the Esplanade, were free from oily discharge.

Hawker Jamil Katertani, 33, said the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) fixed grease traps for all hawker stalls in the complex in 2013.

“It is important to keep the eatery area clean and free from pests as diners prefer to frequent clean outlets.”

He said his family had been selling pasembur at the complex over the past 69 years.

“The council installed the grease traps for us but it is our responsibility to clean them.

“It is very easy to clean the devices and I clean mine once a week,” he added.

MPPP councillor Ong Ah Teong when contacted said the council installed 895 grease traps in the council’s 50 hawker complexes and temporary sites on the island.

“The stall operators are responsible for the cleaning of the traps. The council only installs grease traps for food complexes and temporary hawker sites that belong to us.

“It is compulsory for all eatery operators, including private ones, to install such grease traps.

“Those who do not know where to obtain the grease traps can go to the council’s Engineering Department at Komtar Level 13 to get the list of suppliers of such traps,” he said.

Ong added that operators who fail to install grease traps and discharge their waste directly into drains could be compounded RM250 or risked having their licences revoked.

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