ONE of the main grouses often heard about Kuala Lumpur is the many potholes on its roads.
Whether in residential or commercial areas, travelling around the city often means a bumpy ride because of the potholes and badly patched stretches of roads.
In many places, roads in good condition are dug up by utility and telecommunications companies for the laying of pipes and cables. They are then badly resurfaced.
In April, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng had highlighted at least six places in his constituency where roads were dug up without a permit.
A spokesperson from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) corporate communications department confirmed that there have been cases where contractors operate without approval from DBKL.
“If we find out that they have no permit, we will contact the respective companies. If the dug-up areas have not been patched up or resurfaced, we will do it for them them and issue them the bill.
“We have also found out that many contractors appointed by the companies have no expertise in resurfacing roads,” he said.
He also urged residents who suspect that roads were being dug up without permits to call 1800-88 3255.
StarMetro spoke to the major utility and telco companies in Malaysia to find out their procedures for installing pipes or cables.
Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) corporate affairs department executive director Abdul Halem Mat Som said they have a standard operating procedure for contractors assigned to dig up roads to install pipes.
“They have to follow it and some even complain that our procedures are too strict,” he said.
Halem added that they sometimes needed a day before they could resurface a road because the soil has to settle after laying the pipes.
“Some contractors for smaller projects might try to take the easy way out but we will take action against them if they are found guilty of violating our procedures,” he said.
Chief technology and innovation officer Girgio Migliarina said TM will submit proper work permit applications to the local authorities before any civil or cabling works that require excavation on road surfaces, pavements or even on grass can commence.
All civil and cabling works are carried out by TM’s registered panel of contractors who have undergone the required training and certifications but permit application is carried out by TM directly.
In the case of DBKL, a joint site inspection by DBKL officers and TM staff will be carried out to determine the exact location of the work site.
“We have to pay processing fees and a bank guarantee before the permit can be approved. Our contractors will then commence work in accordance with the approved work method, working time and project schedule.
“Works are supervised by TM Project Supervisors to ensure that they are carried out according to specifications and that the site has been cleared and the dug-up road properly resurfaced. Our contractors will then carry out road milling and paving works according to the requests and needs of the local authorities up to their satisfaction,” said Migliarina
If the local authorities are not satisfied with the work, they can appoint their own contractors to carry out the resurfacing, milling and paving. The claims for these work can be deducted from the telco’s bank guarantee.
In an official statement by the company, Celcom said the contractors for digging up of roads and laying cables are appointed from a list of panel chosen based on a stringent tender process.
Celcom generally applies for permits directly from the local council but in some cases, contractors also apply for the permits.
Upon approval of the work permit, the appointed contractor will be informed of the schedule for the execution of the work and Celcom supervises all activities during the period to ensure that all the procedures and rules are complied with.
It is the contractor’s responsibility to resurface the road and there is a requirement for re-doing in case of unsatisfactory workmanship after inspection by the local authority.
Procedures are also in place to ensure that the quality of workmanship will be maintained for at least up to a one-year period.
Upon completion of the project, the contractors will need to get all the necessary signed documents from Celcom, confirming that they have fully completed the project as per stated in the contract.
Any contractor who fails to carry out the duty will be blacklisted for any new job appointment and a new contractor will be appointed to rectify any pending repair works.
A company spokesperson said Maxis complied to stringent guidelines in the laying of cables for network rollout.
“We ensure that approvals are obtained before roadworks commence. We do not compromise on any aspect of work that may affect the community.
“We monitor the quality of work via regular site visits to ensure that it is in compliance with the standard and procedures of the relevant local authorities,” she said.
Members of the public who have enquiries are encouraged to contact them directly through firstname.lastname@example.org
DiGi only offers mobile services which do not require them to dig up roads to install connecting cables to housing and commercial areas.
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