THE former Padang Chetty located near Klang’s Little India enclave, which used to be a popular site for sports such as hockey, is being transformed into a public square.
Situated in Jalan Bukit Jawa, Klang, the 1.34ha field at Lot 42 will now be known as Dataran Majlis Perbandaran Klang.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) president Dr Ahmad Fadzli Ahmad Tajuddin said the landscape architect had incorporated unique elements to make the square a place locals can be proud of.
“Our aim is for people to have a sense of ownership, ” he told StarMetro.
Ahmad Fadzli said a lot of thought was put into the design, citing the 3m-wide walkway loop which enables physical distancing during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
“Similarly, hedges separating the maze would be allowed to grow to 0.9m in height to ensure the public’s safety, ” he said.
The 500m maze is the main element of the square which boasts multiple routes with each starting from the edge and ending at the centre where 36 fountain heads are located.
At night, the fountains would be lit up with different hues.
Ahmad Fadzli said fountains were added as the sound of water has a tranquil effect and can help people coming after work to de-stress, in addition to providing a beautiful sight at night.
MPK Gardens and Recreational Department director Dawari Daud said the 36 fountains would also help reduce the noise from traffic along Jalan Dato Hamzah that borders the park.
It will also provide a cool feeling as people sit close to the perimeter of the fountains.
“The square will become a focal point for families and friends to meet as well as being an ideal spot for picnics or just a place to relax and enjoy some quiet time, ” he said.
Konsep Inovartis consultant and landscape architect Zulhelmy Azmi who designed the park, said his main challenge was to retain the mature trees surrounding the triangle-shaped area to ensure it is in line with MPK’s Low Carbon City Framework (LCCF) 2027, to reduce carbon footprint.
“Our president (Ahmad Fazli) wanted us to keep the trees along both slopes of Jalan Dato Hamzah and Jalan Kota to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, ” he said.
Zulhelmy added that by retaining the trees, the temperature would be lowered.
“It is a people-centric plan that creates space for social transformation.
“Our design had to cater to the needs of all communities, ” he said, adding other facilities at the park to include a chess plaza, two sepak takraw courts, a futsal court, mini grandstand, a gazebo and an area for 20 food trucks.
“MPK spent about RM17,000 to buy 32 chess pieces from China for the chess plaza, ” he said.
Civil engineer Mohd Zainal Sarji, 64, who oversees works at the site, said 98% of the park had been completed and it would be handed over to MPK on May 3.
“We have installed 32 solar street lights around the park and six floodlights so the park can be illuminated throughout the night, ” he said.
Electrician Kumar Thirumalay said a sump was built across the park to house cables for the six floodlights and wiring for the fountain as this would make it easier for maintenance.
Dawari said an archway — which will be installed at the main entrance of the square — was in the midst of being completed.