No slight issue

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 29 Aug 2020

Dark stretch: Some street lights (right) along Jalan Dato Hamzah in Klang are out of order, posing a danger to motorists and other road users. — S.S. KANESAN/The Star

THE street lights along Jalan Dato Hamzah in Klang were out of order for weeks before Klang Municipal Council (MPK) finally responded to complaints and carried out repairs.

However, some of the lamps have malfunctioned again, resulting in a dimly lit street that is posing a danger to motorists and other road users.

There appears to be no end to complaints of non-functioning street lights in the royal town.

Masjid India Muslim Tengku Kelana secretary Md Yousoff Noor Mohamed said the authorities in charge of street lights maintenance must pay attention and undertake urgent repairs when the lights were out of order.

“Some street lights along the Jalan Tengku Kelana stretch are not working either,” he said, adding that poorly lit streets posed a hazard to road users.

Motorist Lim Thiam Chai, 72, said that at times it seemed that the authorities simply did not care when certain stretches were pitch dark or poorly lit.

MPK Complaints Unit officer Aziana Idris said complaints of non-functioning street lights were common, with the council receiving at least a complaint or two daily.

Up to Aug 18 this year, she said the unit received 993 complaints on faulty street lights.

“Some people call in, others inform the unit via email while a few will come in to the council headquarters to personally fill up the complaints form.

“Our unit takes each complaint seriously.

“All information is recorded and then channelled to the Engineering Department’s Mechanical and Electrical Unit,” she said.

The Complaints Unit comes under the purview of MPK’s Corporate Communications Department.

MPK Corporate Communi-cation Department director Norfiza Mahfiz said complaints on malfunctioning street lights lodged with the unit in 2018 totalled 1,925 and last year it saw a drop to 1,566 complaints.

She said for this year up to Aug 18, MPK received a total of 1,083 complaints over faulty lights, which included decorative lights, traffic lights and street lights.

“Complaints over street lights alone were 993 and they mostly came from residents in Bandar Botanic, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Bandar Bukit Raja, Bandar Putera, Taman Sentosa, Jalan Tengku Kelana, Jalan Istana and Taman Gembira,” she added.

In Shah Alam, the city council’s Corporate Communications head Shahrin Ahmad said they received 5,760 complaints on non-functioning street lights in 2018, while last year the number of complaints was 6,362.

This year, Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) received 4,197 complaints up to Aug 24. Meanwhile, Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) Corporate and Strategic Management Department senior assistant director Azfarizal Abdul Rashid said the council received 2,680 complaints and 2,267 complaints in 2018 and 2019 respectively. “This year, the council received 1,165 complaints about faulty street lights up until Aug 24.

“The complaints lodged in 2018 and 2019 were all addressed.

“This year, 94.16% of the 1,165 cases were rectified.

“Our technicians are still working on resolving the remaining 5.84%,” he added.

MPK Engineering Department director Zamri Othman said the council was overseeing an estimated 21,000 street lights and managing 33 traffic lights.

“Our Mechanical and Electrical Unit has a dedicated team to respond to faulty street lamps.

“We have a high number of complaints on street lights that malfunction.

“But our team responds to the complaints within a reasonable time,” he said.

Zamri said the street lights were faulty largely due to ageing cables, third-party damage of underground cables during earth works, vandalism and damage caused by road accidents.

“MPK spent RM3.2mil last year to repair street lights and we estimate the same amount for this year,” he said.

Selangor Palace representative Datuk Abdul Ghani Pateh Akhir, who is a Klang councillor, said MPK technicians were working hard to resolve the breakdown of street lights due to ageing cables where rainwater seeped into them and caused short circuits.

“MPK is concerned about this issue and believe there is room for improvement.

“Since 2018, the complaints have reduced and we are getting technicians to anticipate the faults,” he said.

Abdul Ghani said most of the electrical repairs and replacement of bulbs were done in-house while the major cable works were outsourced to private contractors.

“Our current policy is for the private contractor to make electrical cable emergencies a priority.

“Other electrical faults are logged into our management system that has a completion target to assess and fix in the shortest time possible and are grouped together by date, once they are forwarded by the Complaints Unit, to ensure older complaints are attended to first,” he elaborated.

JKR Klang district engineer Syaharidanisman Mohd Johanis said street lights under JKR were mostly on the main thoroughfare that passed through the town.

“Our technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing the street lights there.

“There have been many occasions where we find the street lamps vandalised and dismantled from the poles.

“Certain areas are very quiet at night and drug addicts take the opportunity to rip out the copper wiring,” he said.

Syaharidanisman added that most of the street lights on the Federal route were working but MPK technicians were always looking for ways to make it better for road users by using LED lights for a clearer vision at night.

Abdul Ghani said the authorities depended on the public to alert them to faulty street lights throughout the Klang district.

“When reporting a problem, do provide as much information as you can about the location, especially pole numbers and adjacent addresses.”

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