THE Sungai Ara Linear Park in Bayan Lepas, Penang, has proven to be a successful pilot project due to the involvement of the local community.
Located in Desaria, the park has become the latest attraction after the Sungai Ara river was adopted by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (JPS) under a task force which consists of the Penang Island City Council, Seberang Prai Municipal Council, Department of Environment, Land and District office, state Health Department, Indah Water Konsortium and the Penang Green Council.
The Sungai Ara river which flows through the linear park was upgraded at a cost of RM45,000 that involved dredging, building of stepping stones and strengthening of the banks.
“It is an example of how a community can help develop a project as the residents in the area have taken ownership of the project for their activities,” said Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow after visiting the park on Thursday.
Chow said the JPS model for the project, the first in the south-west district, has set a benchmark of how a park should be developed.
“The resident’s association in the area had been instrumental in helping the JPS and MBPP on the upkeep of the park.”
Chow said the Sungai Ara river was the first project taken up by the task force to preserve and conserve the rivers in the state.
“In fact, Sungai Ara river was voted as the cleanest river in the country in 2015,” he said.
JPS southwest district project engineer Haslinda Mohamad Hamran said a similar project was carried out at the Penang Botanic Gardens, although the Sungai Ara would be the first model of a linear park.