Saturday, January 28, 2006

SAMY: Only I can Approve Project!

Which PWD project is not approved by the Work Minister?

MRRII, Cameron Highland roads (where the slope collapsed), Simpang Pulai-Lojing-Ayer Raja Road (slope failures), East-West Highway (slope failures), North-South Highway (rockfalls & mudslides), and include all those projects that had been terminated, abandoned, or failed, such as the Hospital Tun Aminah, Cameron Highland Hospital, School projects, etc. Of course we can exclude projects such as Matrade Building, Computer Labs, and Army Camp Gemas which are awarded to PMC by the relevant Ministries.

Now, Samy said he wants all road projects that involve cutting into hillslopes to get the approval of the Works Minister. The new directive covered the construction of reserve areas for road-widening projects along hilly and coastal areas. All Public Works Department (PWD) heads have also been directed to get his personal approval for every road development project close to hillsides.

“We want to ensure there is no indiscriminate cutting of hillslopes,” Samy said.

Commenting on the on-going road-widening project on the hilly Tanjung Tokong-Batu Ferringhi road in Penang, Samy Vellu said the ministry had decided to relax width requirements on the road reserve along the stretch to protect the hills. “If we were to follow the PWD’s standard requirement, the project would result in the cutting of hills in Batu Feringghi. “We don’t want this to happen and have decided to reduce the required road-reserve width from 19.8m to only 15m to save the hills along the 15km stretch,” he said.

So, with the new directives, the Work Minister is empowered to twist and bend the code of practice, rules and regulations to suit. What is needed now is to Kau Tim him and you can have road reserve at 15m or even less, maybe, no need to have road reserve at all.

I thought if any land is inadequate to meet the requirements of road reserve, for reasons such as safety of hill-slopes, then the road should not be allowed to be built or approved. Instead, an innovative solution is provided so as to facilitate approval. If that's the case, the code of practice and regulations should be amended; not by way of unfetted discretion which will lead to abuse of power. A soultion to a problem will breed new and far potent problems (Murphy's Law).

No comments: