Solar-powered lights at bus stops malfunction soon after being fixed

By OH ING YEEN ingyeen@thestar.com.my Photos by Ricky Lai

MORE than 80 solar-powered lights at bus stops in Kajang, Cheras and Semenyih malfunctioned within three months after being installed.

Kajang municipal councillor Eddie Ng said only eight out of the 96 lights were functioning and the rest were not in working condition.

Ng said the lights were installed at the end of 2010 and in less than three months many had malfunctioned.

Last year, 40 bus stops were refurbished, including 26 that were demolished and rebuilt.

A must: One of the requirements is to have the Malaysian flag at the upgraded bus stops.

“We are shocked as this is a waste of funds. The Transport Ministry identified the bus stops to be refurbished and the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) in the Prime Minister’s Department acts as a coordinator.

“The Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) questioned their decision but were told that the ministry was unhappy with the design.

“We have requested for minutes of the meeting we had with the ministry and ICU on this project but have yet to receive a reply,” he said.

He clarified that this was not a council project.

“The ministry and ICU are in charge of the project while MPKj shortlisted the contractors, came up with the building specifications and maintenance,” he said.

He added that the ICU just refurbished the bus stops but the maintenance was left to the council.

Not good enough: A small bulb at one of the bus stops is the only source of light.

“This has cost the council a lot of money. We brought this to ICU’s attention via a letter on April 11 last year but so far no action has been taken.

“The solar-powered lights should still be under warranty,” he said.

Eleven initiatives were established under the National Key Results Area for urban public transport and one of it is to refurbish 634 bus stops and build 306 new covered bus stops.

According to sources, RM9mil was spent in 2010 and almost RM11mil last year for this project.

Seven local councils — Sepang, Subang Jaya, Selayang, Ampang Jaya, Klang, Kajang and Shah Alam were involved in the project to refurbish bus stops and also build new ones.

A source from ICU confirmed that the council was responsible for shortlisting the contractors, preparing the quotation and maintenance of the bus stops.

“There is no limit to the project funds but it cannot exceed RM30,000 per bus stop. It usually costs between RM20,000 and RM35,000 for each bus stop.

“This is a Class F contract, hence each contractor can be awarded a project of not more than RM200,000,” he said.

Article Source http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/1/3/central/10179862&sec=central

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