Thursday, July 02, 2009

Lookback At Promises By MBPJ - old NST report

What PJ residents can expect in 2009

Sheila Sri Priya
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Petaling Jaya will become a disabled-friendly city.
Petaling Jaya will become a disabled-friendly city.

PETALING JAYA: Residents can look forward to the new year because the city council has some interesting plans for them.

Among the good news:

- Residents have bigger say on approval of projects

The council's director of development and planning, Sharipah Marhaini Syed Ali said in the past, many development projects were approved without proper background checks.

Councillor Robert Tan said from now, proposals would be submitted to the council, followed by a public hearing held with the assistance of the residents' association.

"We are practising transparent governance. We table everything to the public and listen to their feedback. In the past, development projects would take place and residents end up issuing legal notices to the council later."

- Outdoor billboards revenue to benefit the community

Based on a statement from the council, "public land should not only be given to a small section of the business community rent-free. The public should be given equal rights to apply for temporary occupational licences for the sites. Therefore, the fairest mechanism is for the council or local authority to be given the TOL.

"The council will then rent out the sites and the proceeds will be utilised for the benefit of the public."

Councillor Derek Fernandez said the new ruling would benefit all rate-payers because commercial use of state land so far had not yielded revenue.

"The free use of the land was enjoyed by only a selected few (billboard owners)," he said.

The new higher TOL fees would enable the council to reduce the burden on rate-payers with the revenue channelled to better services and security for the public.

Fernandez said the duty of local government is to maximise the use of its assets and maximise its benefits to the public.

- PJ city will become disabled-friendly

The council is set to make the city's roads and other facilities more disabled-friendly.

The council will build 150 covered disabled car parks and better walkways, ramps and pedestrian crossings, especially from Jalan Gasing to Jalan Changai.

Councillor T. Anthony, who is disabled, said the upgrading works would meet international standards for facilities for the disabled.

There are more than 250,000 disabled people in the country and their mobility is hampered by unfriendly infrastructure and facilities.

- More crackdowns on traffic, parking and other offences in the city

The council will come down hard on all offenders.

Councillors Chan Chee Kong and Syed Abd Malik Syed A. Hamed said irresponsible parking by motorists must be curbed.

"We are coming down hard on errant motorists. They have to park properly or they will be fined," said Chan.

- City parks for adoption to encourage cleanliness and prevent vandalism

Parks for adoption is the idea thought up by the city council to encourage cleanliness and prevent vandalism in city parks.

There are 440 small parks in Petaling Jaya that can be adopted by residents' associations. Two of the three larger parks -- Taman Aman and Taman Bandaran -- have been adopted. However, Taman Jaya is not.

Council landscaping department director Zuraidah Sainan said the response has been encouraging and she was confident that all parks would be adopted soon.

She said RM2.6 million has been allocated for the upkeep of the parks.

"There are scheduled upgrading works for each park but because of the heavy use and vandalism, the council is wasting a lot of money on repair works."

- Poor residents will continue to enjoy free community bus rides and community clinics

The bus will operate around the PJ north (PJU) and PJ south (PJS) areas, with importance given to low-cost residential areas where most of the urban poor live.

This makes Petaling Jaya the first city in Selangor to provide a community bus service.

"If there is a good response, we may increase the number of buses, depending on our financial ability," said Datuk Bandar Datuk Roslan Sakiman.

At present, the two buses provided to cover five areas in PJU and 15 areas in PJS are operating between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday.

The council also recently bought a van to transport the disabled.

"All they (the disabled) need to do is call us at 03-79563544 ext 370 or 374 and tell us where they would like to go and our officers will pick them up and send them to their destination.

"We are aware that most are trapped at home and face difficulties in even getting to the hospital for their medical check-ups and emergencies. We are working towards making PJ a liveable city for all," said Roslan.

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