NST, Streets -  17 August 2009

Litter mars beauty of Bukit Gasing

A well-known spot among joggers, hikers and families out for a stroll in the evenings, Bukit Gasing is turning into an unsightly garbage dump, especially on weekends.

Empty plastic bottles, styrofoam food containers, old newspapers, plastic bags, soft drink cans, peanut shells and leftover fruit are strewn on the road and in the drains, especially around the gazebo area where many would stop to rest or admire the view.

During recent checks by Streets to the hilltop area near the Sivan Temple, we found that there were two partially broken rubbish bins placed on the hilltop but garbage was either strewn around them or spilling out of them.

Visitors said on weekdays, the area was relatively clean but by Sunday evening, the place would be a mess.

"Shouldn't the place be cleaned more regularly on weekends when there are more people visiting it?" asked a regular visitor.

Another visitor pointed out that the public should also be more responsible and not litter.

"We have so few recreational areas in the city and yet, people don't take care of nice places like this."

A jogger said she liked going to the hilltop in the evenings and was sad to see garbage strewn all over the place.

"It's a beautiful area to come to in the evenings and it's a pity to see the area littered with garbage.

"The pillars at the gazebo also need a coat of paint and I don't think it will cost much to give this place a facelift."

Friends of Bukit Gasing secretary Marylyn Thoo said the garbage issue was raised during a meeting held by the council in January.

"We submitted a letter on the issues relating to Bukit Gasing and this includes maintaining the cleanliness of the hilltop.

"There was also a meeting with councillor Derek Fernandez in June after a portion of the hill caught fire. But the cleanliness problem is still not addressed," said Thoo.

She also blames visitors and temple devotees who fed the monkeys in the area.

"The devotees are overfeeding the monkeys here. In fact, now you could see dogs roaming the area looking for leftovers.

"The public should let the wild animals look for their own food or don't overdo it by leaving lots of fruits.

"The monkeys have also become a nuisance to residents as they would trespass into houses in the area looking for food."

Thoo hopes the council would check on the area more often and not just rely on public complaints before cleaning it up.

Petaling Jaya City Council director of environmental health Dr Sadiah Abdullah said the council would look into increasing the garbage collection frequency, especially on weekends.

She said the place was listed as a residential area and not a park and because of that, there was a fixed schedule for Alam Flora to sweep the roads in the area.


The End.