Works Ministry pledges to fill small potholes within a day

Gone to pot: Potholes seen along Jalan Klang Lama in Kuala Lumpur. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Works Ministry has given its commitment to fix potholes on federal roads within 24 hours of receiving a complaint, as the issue of road maintenance in Malaysia continues to be parodied.

The ministry said that under the Zeropothole Campaign, the patching of potholes or temporary repairs for federal roads will be conducted within 24 hours, while permanent repairs will be done in three days as per the “Federal Road Maintenance” contract.

In a statement yesterday, it said the campaign that was introduced from 2016 to 2018 was reintroduced in July as an initiative of the ministry with the Public Works Department (JKR) and six concessionaires for federal road maintenance.

“Potholes refer to holes with widths from below 200mm up to 1,000mm. If the width of the hole is below 200mm, it does not involve any cutting, and will be patched.

“When the width of the hole is up to 1,000mm, it will require the part of the road to be cut before it is patched, ” it said, adding that holes with a width of more than 1,000mm will be treated as “pavement failure”.

The ministry added that through Budget 2021, the government had allocated RM100mil for the implementation of “weight in motion” devices on identified federal roads.

The ministry said it will work with the Transport Ministry to ensure that road surfaces are not damaged quickly because of vehicle overloading.

Saying that it took the safety of road users seriously, the Works Ministry said the road network in Malaysia is 254,477.563km long.

It added that it had allocated RM1.09bil for federal road maintenance nationwide, which included electricity bills, traffic lights and street lights.

For the maintenance of state roads under JKR, the allocation comes from the state government through the Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris).

The allocation for Marris, the ministry said, is increased up to 20% or RM50mil, whichever is lower.

“To ensure that the assets of federal and state roads are always in good condition, JKR does its best to ensure that these roads are managed in accordance with engineering practices without neglecting public interest, ” it said.

The ministry also added that up to Nov 30, they had received 4,091 complaints under the category of public infrastructure, with 1,473 for damaged roads.

It added that based on JKR’s monitoring, they had detected and fixed almost 200,000 holes on roads, while for the first half of this year, a total of 64,000 holes had been fixed.

“The ministry is always committed to ensuring that every complaint received is resolved promptly regardless of the status of the complainant, and also adopts a ‘No Wrong Door Policy’ for the benefit and well-being of the people, ” it said.

On Sunday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin hit a pothole and crashed during a cycling trip in Banting, Selangor.

Khairy tweeted a picture of his bruised face with minor scratches, saying that he had a fall after hitting a pothole while cycling around Kampung Seri Cheeding, with the incident prompting the Kuala Langat JKR to issue an apology about five hours later.

Frustrated Malaysians took to social media to question if a similar apology would be extended if they were the ones injured instead.

Others quickly followed suit by posting videos, pictures and memes of potholes and bad roads to highlight the problem.

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