RESIDENTS HAVE FIELD DAY
Pulau Tikus folk upset that council building a pavement on green lung
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.
The field in Lebuhraya Maktab, Pulau Tikus, that was dug up by the Penang Council yesterday.