RES­I­DENTS HAVE FIELD DAY

Pu­lau Tikus folk up­set that coun­cil build­ing a pave­ment on green lung

New Straits Times - - News - BALVIN KAUR GE­ORGE TOWN news@nst.com.my

RES­I­DENTS near Col­lege Av­enue in Pu­lau Tikus and its vicin­ity here are un­happy with the Pe­nang Is­land City Coun­cil for dig­ging up a his­tor­i­cal field to lay a con­crete jog­ging track.

A res­i­dent, Eileen Neary, 57, said res­i­dents were up­set as they felt that the field was beau­ti­ful.

“It does not need to be im­proved with a jog­ging track as it is beau­ti­ful and per­fect in its design.

“This field is one of the last green lungs for res­i­dents and the school nearby,” she told the New Straits Times yes­ter­day.

The house­wife said res­i­dents were shocked to see the coun­cil’s con­trac­tors dig­ging up the field yes­ter­day.

“We were not in­formed about the plans to lay a jog­ging track. There was also no sign­board put up prior to the dig­ging.

“We were aware of the plans only when the con­trac­tors brought bull­doz­ers and started dig­ging the field,” she said.

She added that the res­i­dents had been asked to send an of­fi­cial let­ter to the coun­cil.

“We are form­ing a res­i­dent com­mit­tee to draft the let­ter,” she said.

Checks by the NST at the field found that a track, go­ing three quar­ters around the field, had been dug, about the size of two bad­minton courts.

There was also a sign­board be­side the field, along Le­buhraya Mak­tab, in­di­cat­ing that there was a project to up­grade the field. Works started on Aug 7 and are ex­pected to be com­pleted on Nov 6.

An on­line pe­ti­tion has been started by res­i­dent Paula Tan yes­ter­day.

She said the res­i­dents were up­set that huge tracts of grass had been uprooted in a criss­cross pat­tern across the field.

“Chil­dren have played here for gen­er­a­tions, with no need for any pave­ment.

“A few ex­tra swings would be a nice ad­di­tion, but not any­thing that in­volved re­mov­ing the grass,” she added.

She said while res­i­dents ap­pre­ci­ated the coun­cil’s ef­forts to up­grade the area, how­ever, they felt some things were best left as they were.

“Our field re­quires no mod­i­fi­ca­tions,” she added.

Bukit Ben­dera mem­ber of par­lia­ment Zairil Khir Jo­hari said while he was nei­ther for nor against the project, he, how­ever felt that the coun­cil should en­gage more with the com­mu­nity.

“As the MP for the area, I was not even in­formed of the up­grad­ing.

“An en­gage­ment process should be ini­ti­ated for com­mu­nity spa­ces like this be­fore de­ci­sions are made,” he said.

Pu­lau Tikus as­sem­bly­man Yap Soo Huey was not avail­able for com­ment.

Pe­nang Is­land City Coun­cil coun­cil­lor Muham­mad Bak­thiar Wan Chik said the project had been put on hold pend­ing dis­cus­sions with Zairil, Yap and res­i­dents.

“This is merely a land­scape up­grad­ing work.

“In other places where we car­ried out land­scap­ing project, they have been wel­comed by res­i­dents.

“It is only in this area that some of the res­i­dents are ob­ject­ing to the project,” he said.

MIKAIL ONG PIC BY

The field in Le­buhraya Mak­tab, Pu­lau Tikus, that was dug up by the Pe­nang Coun­cil yes­ter­day.

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