Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We Stand By You

Condo residents in a bind
ILLEGAL food peddlers hawking on pedestrian walkways, road kerbs and public parking bays in front of the Vista Komanwel B Condo-minium at Bukit Jalil National Stadium are making life miserable for the residents living there.
The hawkers, who hail from different parts of the city, have chosen the spot because of the lucrative business in the area.
The area in front of the condominium, which is located opposite the International Medical University (IMU), has become a sort of food paradise for students from the university.
According to residents interviewed by the StarMetro, stalls have sprung up like mushrooms along pedestrian walkways and road kerbs and they operate in the mornings and evenings.
They’re everywhere: Illegal hawkers set up tables and chairs on pedestrian walkways in Bukit Jalil.
“All these are happening along a busy four-lane road, which has been reduced to two lanes by illegal hawkers and customers who double park to buy food from them,’’ said Vista Komanwel resident Michelle Tan.
“Pedestrians are forced to walk on the road, thus exposing themselves to danger from incoming traffic. It is also unhygienic and with neither proper toilets nor fresh water facilities,’’ said Tan, adding that waste is just thrown down the drain.
Residents are worried that apart from mosquitoes, rats would soon be making an appearance in their once serene neighbourhood.
The Joint Management Committee of the Vista Komanwel B had on numerous occasions written to DBKL to complain about the illegal hawking going on in the area but apart from sending some enforcement staff to check out the situation, nothing was done to solve the problem.
In their own world: Pedestrians have to walk on the road as the walkway has been taken up by these hawkers.
“Our quality of life has dropped. The situation has caused us all much distress. Apart from the hygiene and smoke emission from the open cooking, the value of our properties have depreciated,’’ said resident Jason Ong.
When StarMetro visited the area recently, many mobile stalls were visible in the area. One particular stall had placed at least 30 tables and chairs right on top of pedestrian walkways.
The stall operates from noon until midnight every day except Sundays. What’s interesting is the fact that the stall operator has even erected a makeshift toilet built over a metal grille covering of a drain.
At other spots, stall operators have placed their food containers and utensils on planter boxes, damaging the plants.
One stall owner even upgraded his ‘service’ by carpeting a stretch of the pedestrian walkway!
“It is not fair that as ratepayers we are denied the right to live in a clean and tranquil manner,” Ong said, adding that something must be done about the matter.

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