Better days ahead for Botanic Park

  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 02 Jul 2020

Broken wooden platforms at Botanic Park pose a danger to park-goers, especially children who may fall through the gaps.

THE setting up of a task force comprising residents representatives and Klang Municipal Council (MPK) will help ensure complaints regarding Botanic Park are looked into speedily.

The task force will help oversee maintenance and cleanliness of the park which was often littered with uncollected rubbish, broken fixtures and poorly maintained badminton and basketball courts as well the need for better landscaping.

The task force, comprising Klang Municipal Council (MPK), Sentosa assemblyman G. Gunaraj and nine residents associations, was set up in May.

Gunaraj said a contractor was engaged to collect rubbish and look after the park’s cleanliness.

He said MPK also proposed an initial RM1.2mil allocation to repair broken fixtures in the park.

The task force’s first initiative was to organise a large scale clean-up involving some 400 people.

The event at the park saw the participation of residents from eight nearby neighbourhoods, volunteers as well as non-governmental organisations (NGO) representatives. MPK deputy president Elya Marini Darmin and representatives from the Selangor Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) were also present to listen to the residents’ woes.

Elya (second from right) and Gunaraj (right) cleaning up the park during a gotong-royong. — Photos: KK SHAM/The StarElya (second from right) and Gunaraj (right) cleaning up the park during a gotong-royong. — Photos: KK SHAM/The Star

Penaga Residents Association chairman Fong Tang Chong said the clean-up was timely because the park was in a state of neglect.

He said about 70 residents from the neighbourhood turned up as all of them wanted to do their part in cleaning up the park.

“During the movement control order period, instead of people jogging at the park, it was filled with cows, ” said Fong, adding that motorcyclists also used the park as an access route, which was dangerous to children.

“There used to be a barrier to prevent motorcycles from entering but it was damaged.

“Apart from that, there have also been break-ins as the thieves climbed over the fence into the houses from the park, ” he said, adding that some also climbed the trees to gain access into house compounds.

There are eight neighbourhoods located nearby. The Bandar Botanic Residents Association (BBRA) is the umbrella body, working with the various residents associations in the township.

Fong said residents also engaged a contractor to prune the trees. BBRA president Jacob Mathews, who oversees 10 neighbourhoods in the township, said the park was a major attraction for house buyers then.

“It was once beautiful but its condition got worse over the years as it was not maintained.

“Apart from this, we also see people on motorcycles meeting and drinking at the park at night. They get drunk and even vandalise park equipment, ” he said.

Empty liquor bottles and rubbish found in the park.Empty liquor bottles and rubbish found in the park.

Drunkards, he said, would throw empty alcohol bottles around the park as well as break the equipment and fixtures there.

“Residents are unsure if the park is gazetted as a lake, water retention pond or categorised as a public park, ” he said, adding that public parks had separate rules for security purposes.

On the issue of security, Gunaraj said residents proposed for a gate and fence to be built at the park’s three entry and exit points.

“This has been proposed and it will be up to MPK to approve. Residents have voiced their concerns and want the gate built. They are also willing to maintain it and open or close it themselves, ” he said.

During the event, representatives from DID also got the chance to discuss maintenance of the lake with MPK to see what could be done to improve it.

“We do not have a clear picture of who is to maintain the lake.

“MPK and DID will sort this matter out and maintain it as the lake overflows during a downpour, ” he said.

He added that the water would rise to the brim and subsequently flood the jogging path and the park.

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