Sunday, March 23, 2014

Council's poor service to blame

The New Straits Times, 21 March 2014


GROUSES: Residents claim alarming number of dengue cases due to clogged drains, uncollected rubbish and abandoned houses in the municipality

KAJANG: AN alarming number of dengue cases has been recorded in the state constituency here in recent months.

Sources in Kajang Hospital said there were at least 450 patients warded thus far for dengue symptoms since the beginning of the year and a large number were confirmed as dengue cases.

A total of 263 dengue cases were also recorded in localities all over the Kajang municipality in the last three months of last year.

The cases have been attributed to municipal problems left unattended such as clogged drains and even uneven roads and fields that allow water to stagnant.

Ismail Ahmad, who lives in Taman Mesra here, said mosquitoes were thriving in the neighbourhood due to the council and wakil rakyat's indifference to their municipal woes.

"The mosquitoes are 'healthy and plenty' here because the wakil rakyat and council are 'prosperous'.

"This can be seen by the fact that there is a by-election here but once the election is over, no one comes by."

There were about 14 cases in his neighbourhood in the last two months of last year.

He said municipal problems such as clogged drains, uncollected rubbish and abandoned houses were abundant in his neighbourhood.

These, he believed, largely contributed to the rise in dengue fever.

"The mosquitoes are thriving because there is an abandoned building just behind our homes.

"We have complained about the problem to the council for five years but it has clearly fallen on deaf ears," said the 80-year-old.

He said despite persistent calls to pick up his garbage on time, his maid had on some occasions bribed the rubbish collector with RM5 just to get him to pick up the rubbish.

He claimed that the communal drains in the neighbourhood that were hardly cleaned also stagnant water and drew mosquitoes to breed here.

Ismail also said only the commercial areas and main roads in Kajang were getting attention and resurfacing done as they were the swing areas for the by-election.

SMK Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah student Adlilee Shafee, 17, also said his teacher was down with dengue recently.

"Even an old man in Taman Mesra got dengue a few weeks ago," said the Taman Mesra resident.

His schoolmate Faizal Mohd Idris, 17, also complained that he too got dengue recently as his Kampung at 121/2 mile Jalan Cheras-Kajang which was a hotspot due to potholes and uneven surface collecting stagnant water in pools.

Wandi Rahim, 38, said potholes with stagnant water was a common sight in the municipality.

The workshop operator in Kampung Sungai Kantan said most of the dengue cases in his village and the neighbouring residential areas were due to this.

"We are tired of complaining to the council as they also do not come to collect rubbish very often."

The wards in Kajang Hospital are said to be full of dengue patients. Pic by Kamarul Izzat Rahim

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