Who should be responsible for those badly maintained roads?

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I stay in Selangor. Recently I noticed there were road contractors resurfacing the roads in the housing area.

The roads were full of potholes due to heavy traffic and frequent rainfall which made it worse. Consequently the residents were furious at the road condition.

Usually after a lapse of time, road contractor would fill up the potholes and it is rare for them to return again to level and resurface the road even after a long period. They will tell the residents that their duty is to resurface the main roads only. Any uneven odd corners or portion in front of their houses are not written in the contract unless they pay for it.

Is it an act of corruption? Many residents would agree to pay but later condemned the government for being corrupted.

Now the service is different. The contractor would not only fill the potholes but they would resurface the whole stretch of road. They even resurfaced the front portion of the houses and odd corners for free. They even declared to the residents the service was absolutely free.

A friend who used to condemn the government blinked and said that the general election must be around the corner. Only then they start resurfacing the road. Don’t think we can be fooled easily!

I asked him whether he knew that it is a federal or state road; he hesitated and asked: “Even there’s a difference for roads?”

Of course there is a difference. The roads in residential areas are likely to be controlled by the state government.

It is a fact there are differences between state and federal roads which are under the care of the state government and federal government respectively. Undeniably Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is correct.

However, the question is does the state government really cannot interfere on federal roads?

How does the Rakyat know which road belongs to the federal or state government? If there is any road damage, residents will lodge a complaint to the local government. They will enclose with photos and details of the locality of the said road. Some will make direct complaint to the town councillors or to their YB (local assemblyman).

Those responsible lawmaker will investigate whether it is a state or federal road. Then they will meet the respective department to find out whether any allocations for repairing roads are available or not. They will not answer bluntly: “This is not my road. I cannot interfere.”

Assuming it is a federal road then under the federal constitution, the federal government should have allocations as a subsidized fund to help the state government to maintain the federal road. If the road is under the jurisdiction of the JKR department (Public Works Department), the lawmaker may follow up with the department to apply for allocation to repair the road.

Once the road is damaged, it is not only an eyesore but a threat to the safety of the residents. The residents would not remain quiet and would lodge complaints.

Whether a road is in good or bad condition, it depends on the maintenance level of the authority concerned. There are too many roads and the authority cannot inspect all daily. Hence, it depends on whether the authority as well as those who receive the complaints follows up earnestly.

Using good or bad road to simply distinguish the federal road from the state road is a question of standard. However, it reveals that it is a matter of management.

When a state road is well maintained, credit should be given to the efficient state road management. However if the federal road is badly maintained, is it the duty of the state government not to meddle or intentionally let the road conditions worsened? There is a subtle difference.

In Penang, from the state government to the local council, with its many lawmakers and their assistants from the ruling party, city hall councillors and their assistants, do they have no responsibilities over the badly maintained federal roads?

Better be cautious, don’t ever let anyone spot a badly maintained state road or else it will bring shame to the state government.

Original Source: 路爛誰之過?