KUALA Lumpur is home to almost two million people, but this figure doubles during the day as people from surrounding towns enter the capital city for work.
With its annual population growth predicted at 1.05%, the 243sq km city is expected to house 2.25 million people by 2040.
For a metropolis of this scale, maintaining law and order is no easy feat, but it is a task the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Enforcement Department must shoulder.
Between handling congested traffic during peak hours, managing hawkers, ensuring maintenance of cleanliness and monitoring premises conducting illegal activities, the department’s plate is full.
For Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan, the men and women in dark green and blue DBKL uniforms are the city’s frontliners, whose work is vital.
“Their work is very challenging and risky, and they often get brickbats from the public when carrying out their duty.
“But they must soldier on and perform their duty diligently and with integrity, ” said the 64-year-old at the celebration of the department’s 51st anniversary in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
From January to August, traffic offences took the largest slice of the breaches, accounting for 983 from a total of 1,975 complaints to DBKL.
“A total of 1,188,299 compounds were issued during that period with an amount worth about RM3.47mil.
“Meanwhile, 1,273 vehicles were towed with compounds issued worth about RM136,000, ” said Nor Hisham.
He said the “Ops Belang”, which was targeted at lorries transporting construction materials that dirtied the road, saw 315 compounds issued while three lorries were towed.
This was in addition to 50 cement trucks and 21 sand lorries that were detained.
“This operation was done with the police, Land Public Transport Agency, Road Transport Department and other DBKL departments.
“Sixty compounds were issued to lorry drivers who failed to maintain the upkeep of their vehicles, ” he said.
He added that 309 construction sites were also inspected, resulting in 38 compounds issued.
“Meanwhile, 15 people were brought to the magistrate court for operating parking lots without approval, ” said Nor Hisham.
Premises conducting illegal business in the city did not escape DBKL’s notice as the local authority worked with various governmental agencies to combat the problem via its “Ops Tebah.”
“Five series of operations were conducted during which 13 premises were closed, with 56 notices served and 195 items confiscated, ” said the mayor.
The enforcement team also took action against stalls run by foreigners, which Nor Hisham said, were often not up to par in cleanliness standards.
“These stalls were dirty and an eyesore, and many of the operators had not been vaccinated, which posed a health threat.
“A total of 2,065 items were confiscated as a result of routine inspections and these were not claimable.
“For foreign hawkers operating in public markets, 305 items were seized, ” he said, adding that DBKL confiscated 933 items from hawkers whose equipment posed a danger to the public, obstructed traffic or blocked access to parking bays.
The DBKL Enforcement Department’s history dates back to 1969, when the city commissioner formed a squad to control the then mushrooming squatters and unlicensed hawkers in Kuala Lumpur.
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