Safe and colourful walk

DBKL contractors using a crane to paint the once rodent-infested backlane of Jalan Thambipillay in Brickfields.

A FILTHY backlane along Jalan Thambipillay, Brickfields that was infamous for rodents and multiple illegal extensions made by business owners, has been given a makeover by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

This follows more than one year of negotiations with stakeholders and Local Agenda 21 (LA21).

The backlane, notorious for its blocked drains filled with fat, oil and grease, and unsanctioned renovation works which hampered the path of Alam Flora contractors and pedestrians, is now off limits to vehicles.

Security bollards have been installed at the entrance to prevent motorists from parking and enforcement officers will be monitoring the area to ensure that it stays that way.

The clogged drains have also been cleared up.

The dingy backlane, one of several in the area in poor condition, now sports a vibrant spray of rainbow colours ranging from yellow, green and purple to pink.

“Former mayor Datuk Norhisham Ahmad Dahlan first visited the backlanes in November 2019, to see what can be done to transform the area, and in early February this year, ordered business owners to remove all the illegal extensions to facilitate the makeover, ” said LA21 secretariat and coordinator A. Ghani Mohamed.

“The current mayor, Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah who took office in October, hastened the process by ordering the paint job and got his officers to speed up the work, ” he said.

Ghani added that with the first phase almost complete, DBKL was now moving on to the second phase which stretches towards the Brickfields post office along the backlanes of Jalan Thambipillay and Jalan Tun Sambanthan.

“The next process for DBKL is placing umbrella-like canopies along the stretch with fragrant potted plants.

StarMetro’s report on the illegal extensions.StarMetro’s report on the illegal extensions.

“We are going to suggest to DBKL to turn the stretch into an ‘artist street’, ” he said.

“This artist street will feature sketch artists, painters and even souvenir kiosks to provide work for artists and keep the lane from becoming a place for seedy activities, ” he added.

On Feb 6, this year, DBKL demolished the illegal extension put up by operators who refused to comply with a notice to remove the extensions.

Illegal renovation works — such as exhaust fans, staircase and other extensions built over the public drains — by 12 shops were demolished and the shops were compounded.

For years DBKL had received many complaints from agencies, including waste regulator Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) and Alam Flora. There were also complaints from the public on the unhygienic conditions of Brickfields’ backlanes.

KT Selvi, who works in a bank in the area said she felt safer walking to work using the backlanes now.

“Before, I was terrified of snatch thieves who like to hang out here, and the stench of rotting food from the drains was a major put-off, ’’ she said.

Retired teacher Ahmad Zaini, who lives nearby, said the refurbished backlanes made him want to exercise more.

“I used to take a taxi to KL Sentral from my apartment in Palm Court which is only a few minutes away, but now I like walking using the backlanes. It’s healthier and I feel safe, ’’ he said.

StarMetro visited the site on the weekend and noticed that DBKL contractors were adding the finishing touches to the place.

We also spotted people taking photos of the area.

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