Ministry terminates contractor
Published on: Saturday, August 11, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Failure to carry out repairs on a sinkhole at Mile 5, Jalan Tuaran, due to a damaged sewerage line led to the termination of the contractor by the Infrastructure Development Ministry through the Public Works Department (PWD). A new one would proceed with the rectification works.

It was reported that the contractor was awarded with the RM3.4 million project by the previous government to carry out rectification works as well as others connected to it since May 28 and was expected to complete the work by this month. However, the project was delayed by 28 per cent.

Its Minister Datuk Peter Anthony said the previous contractor's failure not only caused a crawl along the road but also endangered the safety of road users as well as the public's health, particularly in Kota Kinabalu.

"We (Ministry) have decided to make a fast approach where we will terminate the initial contractor because they have delayed the work and we need this rectification work to be carried out immediately.

"Due to this, the sewerage could not be sent to the treatment centre in Inanam.

We fear that if this prolongs, it could cause an epidemic.

"This issue has affected about 60,000 to 80,000 citizens around Kota Kinabalu, from Kepayan to Likas," Peter said after his visit to Likas and Sabah Port, here, Friday.

Also present were the new Sabah Water Department Director, Amarjit Singh, and officials as well as PWD engineers.

He said during the appointment of the previous contractor, about RM292,000 was paid for the work progress which was believed to have been used to purchase materials which were left at the site without safety precaution.

"This work was supposed to have been completed within three months since May and as we can see there has yet to be progress. Even the sheet piles left at the site have yet to be cut," he added.

Referring to the overflow in the old Sabah Port, Peter said the problem that occurred in Likas has gravely affected the sewage line near the old port where sewage was overflowing from underground.

"This is because if there is a blockage in Likas, it will affect other places such as here (Sabah Port).

But this is a minor problem which we can solve easily. The major problem is in Likas.

"If we can solve the sinkhole in Likas, we will be able to solve other sewerage-related issues around Kota Kinabalu," he said.

He also said this should be a lesson to other contractors as the Ministry and the relevant departments have produced a certain schedule to carry out any awarded projects responsibly and according to standards.

"We will monitor the contractors awarded with projects and if found not fulfilling or not performing according to the set schedule, we will have to stop the work or terminate the contract and give it to a more keen or serious contractor.

"It is an urgent work. So when there is appointment for these emergency works, it should be completed immediately. Whether they (contractor) have to do over time, they have to solve the problem," he added.

On Nov 7, it was reported that a sinkhole measuring six feet wide and five feet deep that opened up due to a crack on the sewerage line directly beneath the busy road at Mile 5, Jalan Tuaran had brought traffic to a crawl.

The road apparently caved in around 10pm on the leftmost lane of Jalan Tuaran towards Inanam although there were no major construction works nearby.

The sinkhole had probably started to develop over a period before giving way while the hole is five feet deep, the pipe line is laid further five feet downwards. - Jeremy S Zabala


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