PJ council’s poor planning leaves a stink

by M Krishnamoorthy

The desilting of the Taman Aman lake in Petaling Jaya resulted in cracks on the LRT pillars, bringing to an abrupt halt the contract which was supposed to remove the stench from the lake.

Poor planning by the Petaling Jaya city council (MBPJ) has now left the air polluted, with joggers and other passers-by complaining that the stink from the lake had worsened.

The partial desilting has not helped in removing the stink in the Section 14 lake’s surroundings and the water is even more contaminated with sewerage and refuse which continue to float on the lake.

About six months ago work started to de-silt the lake to remove the dirt and mud as well as lower the water level which caused lake flooding during heavy downpours.

A retired headmistress said Petaling Jaya local council officials did not realise that the desilting would destabilise the water table in the area and affect the stability of LRT pillars bordering the lake.

This led to the contractor hurriedly putting up scaffoldings and replastering the pillars.

“In their haste to do the cover up, they have also covered up the ventilation vents. I am not sure of the effects on the strength of the pillars, but the vents must have been there for a purpose,” said V Devan who often walked around the park.

‘No feasibility study done prior to project award’

Kampung Tunku State Assemblyman  Lau Weng San who spent two hours visiting the park with joggers recently said that he would discuss with council officials the progress of the work.

“I will also meet the residents’ association in the area to convey their grouses to the council so that remedial action could be taken.”

Senator S Ramakrishnan, a former council member, said the project lacked an overall feasibility study of the lake’s environment before the council finalised and awarded the contract.

A regular jogger in the park said that the council also failed to maintain the fitness equipment which was rusting and some of the broken workout machines were not replaced.

Some parts of the walking tracks have been widened but in a very shoddy patchwork manner.

A wheelchair sign has been plonked at the entrance vehicle barrier leading to questions whether part of the job was to make the park accessible to wheel chair bound residents. If so, it was poorly done.

“It will be difficult for a disabled person to manoeuvre his way around this barrier that already makes it difficult for an able-bodied person to go through,” the jogger said.