The permanent vehicular height restriction barriers put up by local councils in housing estates are now causing major concern to the Johor Fire and Rescue department.
The director of Johor Fire and Rescue department, Abdul Ghani Daud said that the department has identified more than twenty sites in and around Johor Bahru that have such vehicular height restriction barriers which were erected for the purpose of preventing heavy vehicles from entering a residential housing area.
He stressed that such permanent vehicular height restriction barriers can hamper their fire and rescue operations in time emergency in that particular residential housing area. Our fire and rescue vehicles are also unable to enter the area if there is a fire or disaster.
Komunitikini went and did a random survey in a residential housing area in Taman Perling and found that the maximum height of the permanent vehicular height restriction barriers in existence is only 2.2 meters whereas the height of some of the Fire and Rescue department vehicles are 5 meters.
Abdul Ghani added that his department has written to the Johor Bahru Central Municipal Council ask the council to remove all the permanently fixed height restriction barriers and replace them with either adjustable or movable barriers instead where in the event of any emergency, the department can adjust or remove the barriers without difficulties.
Meanwhile, residents of the affected area told Komunitikini that their lives were affected before the permanent barrier was put up as they have to tolerate with the unbearable noise and dust caused by the constant passing of heavy vehicles through their housing area.
Resident Udam Singh Sandhu, 45 said that the residents never allow their children to play outside their house and their gates are always locked to ensure their children safety.
He added the residents were relieved after the permanent height restriction barrier was put up as heavy vehicles especially those sand laden lorries can no longer pass through our housing area.
Udam thanked the Johor Bahru Central municipal council for putting up the permanent restriction barrier after their plight was highlighted in the media.
But now with the Fire and Rescue department requesting the municipal council to remove the permanent height restriction barrier, the residents are beginning to worry that their woes will start to haunt them again.
Udam hoped that the municipal council will not removed or replaced the existing barrier in their residential area.
Another resident, Abdul Razak Muhammad, 50 lamented that due to heavy flow of vehicles in the area, the price of houses in the area has dropped drastically.
He said that more than 20 families have already shifted out from the area and as for him, he has to stay put as he has already fully paid for the house.
Abdul Razak sighed and said that the residents will again have to bear all the inconveniences and pollution woes if the municipal council decides to remove the restriction barrier.