THE poor maintenance of the facilities at a hiking trail in Bukit Jambul, Penang, has not gone down well with those who consider it their daily haunt for fresh air and outdoor activities.
Avid hiker Wilson Moorthy, 49, said he realised a few months ago that the place was in a bad condition.
“When I asked around, others also said most of the facilities put up recently had not been maintained, causing them to be faulty or not functioning at all.
“There is no water supply in the two toilets built at the midway point of the trail.
“The water cooler is also not working and had accumulated dirt.
“This has led to hikers bringing their containers of water for others to use, but pose a danger as the containers end up being left there for days, making it easy for mosquitoes to breed,” said the businessman when met at the trail on Wednesday.
Moorthy added that there were no rubbish bins along the trail, resulting in some hikers disposing rubbish at a corner of the hill.
“This is also another contributing factor for mosquitoes to breed in the area,” he said.
He said another major worry was the protruding wires along the trail, which were dangerous as hikers could trip and fall.
Childhood buddies Mohd Sharimin Rashid and Nik Muhammad Izzuan Muhamad, both 21, and students of Universiti Sains Malaysia, who frequent the trail, were worried for the safety of hikers who in the later part of the evening.
“There are light fixtures along the trail but there are no bulbs and the wiring is protruding.
“Hikers who walk down after 7pm are at risk of losing their way,” said Mohd Sharimin, adding that the conditions of the exercise equipment there were also deteriorating.
Nik Muhammad added that until six months ago the water cooler and the toilets there had water supply.
“This is really bad. I did not bring any drinking water with me and now I’m quite thirsty.
“I would have used the water cooler if it was still working.
“It is important to have facilities that function especially in places like this, where it could mean the difference between life and death,” said the concerned student.
Moorthy, Mohd Sharimin and Nik Muhammad hoped that something could be done to upkeep the newly installed facilities.
It was reported by The Star on Jan 31, 2015, that the Penang Development Corporation had installed safety railings, two new gazebos, a two-cubicle toilet at the mid-section of the popular hiking trail and exercise equipment amongst others under a RM270,000 beautifying project.
Batu Uban assemblyman Dr T. Jayabalan when contacted yesterday, said the upkeep of the area fell under the Bukit Jambul Community Development and Security Committee (JKKK).
“They are supposed to give me feedback on the condition of the facilities for it to be maintained.
“I will look into the matter as I did not know that it was not being taken care of,” he said.
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