PETALING Jaya residents are questioning the quality control and monitoring on work carried out by the local council-appointed contractors.
Residents claim the road medians, sidewalk kerbs, drains and even the RM23.8mil one-way-loop (OWL) project were shoddily built.
Newly constructed road kerbs seemed to be damaged fast and in some cases, within a week of construction.
They are worried that the shoddy job may have an adverse effect on road safety.
In Taman Petaling, the residents were shocked over the poorly constructed road median along Jalan 5/47.
Gasing Indah Rukun Tetangga chairman Eric Chew said the residents first noticed the broken road median on March 27.
“The median disintegrated badly and it was all just within a week.
“We are not accusing anyone here but we are concerned if it was done according to specifications,” said Chew, who reported the issue to the area councillor Derek Fernandez.
The median was rebuilt following the complaint.
When StarMetro visited the site two days after the rebuilding work was completed, the median already had chipped surfaces.
Fernandez said he had requested for an immediate investigation into this matter as well as other areas with poor workmanship.
Fernandez said the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Engineering Department informed him that the samples of the concrete would be taken for testing.
“I have taken a few pieces of what appears to me to be very low-grade concrete.
“These were handed over to me by residents for safekeeping.
“If it is lower than the required grade, there should be some action taken against those involved.
“This type of conduct can amount to several offences including cheating, breach of contract, abuse of power, corrupt practices and conduct jeopardising public safety and money,” he said.
However he said it would depend on the outcome of the investigation which would include the test results.
Fernandez suggested that MBPJ set up a budget monitoring committee for more effective watch on jobs contracted out.
He said the committee should comprise community leaders to provide better transparency in the spending of public money as well as minimise the risk of cheating or abuse of power.
Section 14 (Jalan 14/1-14/15) Residents Association chairman Selva Sugumaran Perumal said the one-way-loop project near Jalan Semangat was a critical area.
“The dividers are often damaged within a short period after they are reconstructed.
“I believe it could be due to the quality of the construction work as well as road design.”
He said the sharp turning here might have resulted in vehicles ramming into the road dividers.
“I have seen how quickly it gets damaged.
“The kerbs and dividers would be completed in the morning and by evening the same day there would be broken pieces,” he said.
He added that some portions of the pavements along the OWL were turned into parking space and this sped up damage to the structures.
Selva said MBPJ should investigate why these structures were so fragile, noting that some of the kerbs were damaged even before the completion of the project.
SS3 resident Christina Teo contacted StarMetro to raise her concerns regarding the drain upgrade work in her neighbourhood.
She said the new drain slabs that were brought to her neighbourhood were broken within minutes.
“I was surprised that some of the slabs were broken even before they were used to build the drain.
“It is clear the older drains were of better quality,” she said.
She noted that the news drains built with the low-quality slabs looked good because they were given a coat of plaster.
“But I wonder how long will it last,” she queried.
Teo wants the council to inspect the quality of these items as it involved public funds.
“These are taxpayers’ money. There should be no wastage and residents deserve to get the best infrastructures,” she said.
Petaling Jaya Utara MCA chairman Tan Gim Tuan said the councillors and assemblyman must take responsibility to correct the problem.
He cited the chopping down of the trees along the OWL as an example.
“If you follow the rule of the law, I am sure there are many procedures to adhere to.
“I am looking forward to seeing them plant back those trees at the end of the project,” he said.
Bukit Gasing assemblyman R. Rajiv said he had raised the issue of the Taman Petaling road divider to the council.
“MBPJ has an audit team, they can investigate the matter.
“We should not jump to conclusion. The matter should be investigated first,” he said.
He explained that members of the council tender board were not the people who monitored projects at the site.
“Those in charge of the site such as the engineering team must provide feedback to the tender board.
“This will give the tender board an idea of how these contractors perform,” he said.
He explained that the council always gave opportunity to new contractors but they must deliver what was promised.
MBPJ spokesman Zainun Zakariah said in the case of Jalan 5/47, the council had instructed the contractor to rebuild the road divider.
“New structures would be inspected and if found unsuitable the contractor would not be paid.
“The contractor will need to rebuild it again until we are satisfied.
“The public do not have to worry because any shoddy work will not be paid,” she said.
She added that the structures would be tested to see if they followed specifications.
The structures have a warranty period of a year.
Similar approach is taken for the OWL project, said Zainun.
“We have not paid the contractor. We will only pay after all the necessary inspections is done and found satisfactory,” she said.