Lacking in public amenities


  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 20 Feb 2020

The scenic views at Teluk Bahang Dam make it an ideal place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

NOW that Teluk Bahang Dam is an established source of water supply, regulars who go there for some fresh air and scenic pleasure are hoping its tourism and recreational potential could be tapped.

A recent visit showed that the dam has turned into a place for joggers, photographers and visitors who want to spend time in the outdoors.

But unlike the older Ayer Itam Dam, this dam has neither a childrens’ playground nor exercise facilities for adults.

University lecturer Norhanishah Mohamad Yunus, 39, said she often visited the Teluk Bahang Dam to jog two to three times a week.

“I like to jog here as it is refreshing and has a majestic view, especially in the morning,” she said.

Norhanishah, who teaches economics at Universiti Sains Malaysia, felt that public amenities in the area are not up to mark and the authorities could do something to address the problem.

She hoped that a playground, for one, could be built.

Another visitor Rosli Naina Mohamad, 46, said every holiday season when he is back to Teluk Bahang with his family, he would make it a point to visit the dam to relax or jog with his children.

Rosli, who works in the travel industry since 20 years ago in Langkawi, said public amenities such as toilets and benches at the dam should be kept in clean and working order.

He said people, especially tourists would be willing to pay if the public facilities are clean and in working condition.

“It is such a waste. A beautiful place like this should be maintained properly,” he said, adding that a kiosk selling snacks and beverages can also be set up outside the dam premises for visitors to get refreshments.

Teluk Bahang state assemblyman Zolkifly Md Lazim said since the past few years, the dam had been attracting quite a number of visitors who were there not just for jogging but also for leisure and photography.

He said he was aware that the facilities at the dam needed to be further improved, and as the area’s assemblyman, had asked the state government to channel more allocation especially in upgrading public amenities in Teluk Bahang.

“I agree that improvement is needed at Teluk Bahang Dam as it is an attraction for visitors from all over the country,” he said.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa gave an assurance that he would look into the visitors’ views on the quality of the public amenities.

As for adding facilities such as a playground, Jaseni explained that the ground space available at the dam needed to be reserved for the annual Penang International Dragon Boat Festival.

“Dragon boaters from around the world need a big space to set up their boats and so on.

“When they come, the whole space will be used up. If we take some of the space to build more amenities, the dragon boat event will be affected,” he said.

Located in the northern part of the island, Teluk Bahang Dam was completed in 1999 and measures 58.5m in height and 685m long, the largest in Penang.

Managed and run by PBAPP, it is close to tourist attractions including Entopia, Escape, Teluk Bahang Recreational Forest and Penang National Park.

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