Digging into problem of dirty drains

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  • Saturday, 15 Jul 2017

Workers cleaning a drain. Residents claim many of them are not doing a good job.

CONTRACTORS hired to desilt drains in Klang, Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya are not doing a good job.

Most of the drains are still caked with mud and weeds, thick silt and choked with rubbish.

Residents of Taman Bayu Perdana in Klang, Section 25 in Shah Alam and Taman Medan in Petaling Jaya are demanding that the drains be cleaned as they fear this could lead to flash floods.

Residents’ associations have asked the local councils to speed up the cleaning but have so far received tepid response.

Although some residents manage to point out to the cleaners the amount of silt and sludge in the drains, they do a haphazard job and leave the rubbish and silt on the grass next to the drain.

Most of the time, because of the barrage of complaints, these workers resort to cleaning only a small part of the drain.

The situation is made worse by some area supervisors, who are council staff, as they choose not to check on the cleanliness of the drains.

I even asked a drain cleaner why the mud blocking the flow of water at two boxed culverts along Persiaran Seraya in Klang had not been removed since August last year, when the matter was highlighted in the newspapers.

He told me both culverts at the bend of Persiaran Seraya and another closer to the Lebuh Turi roundabout were “difficult jobs” and that two other culverts were open and “should suffice”.

With a shovel and baskets, the mud on both sides of the culvert could easily be removed.

Klang Municipal Council president Datuk Mohamad Yasid must crack the whip to ensure contractors do the job they are paid for.

Drains in Taman Petaling off Persiaran Seraya and the monsoon drain in Jalan Setaka Indah need to be cleaned.

Another worker, who cleans the drains along Persiaran Aman in Section 25/62, Shah Alam, said he would only scoop out plastic bottles and rubbish from the drains because removing silt “was a heavier task”.

The worker said they were “not provided with a wheelbarrow” to cart off the silt.

If silt had to be removed at certain sections to allow water to flow, it is then left by the roadside.

In such cases, all that’s needed is a downpour for the silt to be washed back into the drains.

StarMetro also found that the monsoon drain in Shah Alam, outside Masjid Taman Sri Muda in Section 25, and other drains in Jalan 25/36, 25/43, 25/ 28 and 25/50 were filled with thick silt and emanated a stench.

Houses in these areas experience flash floods several times a year.

When told about these problems, social activist Devadass Anjan said contractors were paid to keep drains clean but work was not being done according to the requirements stated in the local council’s contract.

Assessment taxes are collected and ratepayers’ money is being used to fund the cleaning of drains but unscrupulous contractors are not getting the job done and area supervisors are shirking their duties, too.

In Petaling Jaya, Section 10 Residents’ Association committee members claim that there has been a long-standing feud between two contractors over the maintenance of the drain bordering Section 10/3 and Taman Jaya.

Complaints to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) have fallen on deaf ears.

Section 10 resident Elena Fernandez, whose house is near the drain, said the silt was 25cm deep and was attracting mosquitoes, forcing her to keep her windows closed at all times.

With dishonest cleaning contractors and complaints to local councils not being addressed, it is clear that the ratepayers are the victims.

As for the closed drains on one side of Jalan 10/3, they are filled with dried leaves and MBPJ must act fast to get them cleaned.

It is clear that the drains in these neighbourhoods have not been desilted and that local councils continue to turn a blind eye to this problem.

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