DESPITE assurances by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) that illegal structures erected at the back and side lanes in Pudu will be removed by end of June, StarMetro has found that the obstructions are still there.
However, the two traders operating there have since been relocated as promised.
These illegal structures put up by licensed traders in the back lane of Lorong Baba and side lane of Jalan Nyonya have been a bane to Alam Flora waste cleaners as rubbish lorries face challenges manoeuvring through the cramped lanes of the capital city.
A senior officer from the waste company, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “The traders have moved out but the structures remain in violation of numerous licensing by-laws, including the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974.”
The officer said a report had been submitted to Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) on the obstructions but no action has been taken.
“Right now, we use water jets to clean the drains but we can easily move in and out of the lanes and get the job done quicker if there are no obstructions.”
Ricky Loo, who owns a shop in the vicinity of Lorong Baba, said the structures comprised tables, chairs, metal awnings and canopy frames that would cost thousands of ringgit to demolish.
“It’s going to take a lot of work and money to bring down these structures. I hope they do it soon as they are a fire hazard.
“If a fire breaks out, firefighters cannot get in and out quickly,” said Loo.
Traders also left behind mobile food kiosks, cooking stoves, built-in sinks and exhaust fans.
“They are definitely coming back or else they would not leave behind these items as they cost a lot of money.”
In a report titled “Close brush with obstacles” on March 31, StarMetro highlighted that rubbish lorry drivers and waste cleaners complained about having to deal with obstructions when cleaning side and back lanes in the city.
Following that report, DBKL issued a statement saying that the traders would be relocated to a more conducive spot.
A DBKL spokesperson said there were two traders operating at Lorong Baba were licensed.
The spokesperson added that their licences were expiring in November but the traders agreed to relocate by June.
During a recent site visit, StarMetro observed that illegal structures were still taking up an entire lane.
One structure was built along a lane and had a gate that was locked.
It even had a satellite dish on its roof and a car parked in front.
There was also evidence that the space was being used to store items like car tyres, tables and chairs.
When contacted, SWCorp Federal Territories director Ummi Kalthum Shuib said she had highlighted the matter to DBKL.
“I have also heard complaints that stalls operating in some back lanes in Bukit Bintang are filthy and pose a health risk.
“I have spoken to the previous (mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah) and current mayor Datuk Kamarulzaman Mat Salleh about this matter and advised them that back lanes should be off-limits to food stalls,” said Ummi.
She added that the food stalls were not hygienic, posed a problem to waste cleaners and were a safety risk.