Sunday, August 31, 2008

New directive on open spaces - Star

Aug 31,2008 - JADE CHAN at the MBPJ full board meeting

THE Selangor government has issued several new directives to the local authorities recently, including those related to gazetting open spaces and the constructing of billboards.

Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman announced this at Wednesday’s full board meeting of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

“So far, most local councils have gazetted about 30% of their open spaces, but the MBPJ has gazetted about 50%, covering about 200 areas,” Roslan said.

“The state government has urged all the local councils to expedite the gazetting before the end of this year,” he said.

According to Roslan, the state government has imposed a new policy on the construction of new billboards in all local council areas.

Under the policy, the land office can only approve TOL (temporary occupational licences) applications for the construction of billboards for the local councils and not to private individuals or companies.

“The local councils can then lease out the approved pieces of land to billboard operators at a rate of 30% of gross income revenue from the billboards,” Roslan said.

“For the existing billboards built on government reserve land without the TOLs but are allowed to remain, a local council must apply for the TOLs and then lease them to existing billboard operators or other operators,” he said.

“The land office has been told to help the local councils in expediting the TOL applications for the billboard sites,” he said.

Roslan estimated that the council could earn a conservative figure of RM5mil annually from the lease of billboards.

He said the local councils had been instructed by the state government to remove all Mesra Rakyat and old Merdeka campaign billboards featuring photos of leaders from the previous state government.

The directive also reminded all local councils to practise a transparent concept in their administration and that a test of trust is a test of character.

Councillor Kamarudin Suhaimi suggested that the MBPJ look into the issue of Muslim cemeteries in anticipation of future problems.

Among his suggestions were standardising the size of the graves and the “reusing” of graves by collecting bones and relocating them to other sites.

Roslan said the issue would be brought up with the state fatwa committee to seek their views.

On complaints to the MBPJ, Roslan said the council had several working committees like the Road and Traffic Gang under the Engineering Department and the Waste Buster to attend to public complaints.

“The Road and Traffic Gang handles issues like patching potholes and repairing damaged signages,” he said.

“The Waste Busters are contractors appointed by Alam Flora to collect rubbish according to various zones in Petaling Jaya.

Each lorry is paid about RM250 for a full load of rubbish taken to the landfills,” Roslan said.

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