Works Ministry: 2,580 machinery assets stand ready to safeguard public infrastructure during monsoon season

File photo of the landslide at Pekan Lapok. Photo: UKAS

KUCHING, Sept 27: The Ministry of Works is fully prepared to face the monsoon transition period from now until February next year with a total of 2,580 machinery assets prepared at federal and state levels to facilitate various crucial tasks, including personnel and aid transportation, monitoring, rehabilitation and infrastructure repair, slope stabilisation, and casualty evacuation.

These assets encompass a range of equipment, including four-wheel-drive vehicles, crawler machinery, three- and five-tonne trucks, and shovel machinery.

Minister of Works Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi pointed out that this monsoon shift is expected to bring about a 20 to 40 per cent increase in long-term average rainfall. This heightened precipitation poses a potential threat to public infrastructure, particularly roads, bridges, and highways, due to the anticipated rise in rainfall volume.

The Ministry together with its agency, Public Works Department (JKR) and Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) will work together to ensure that people’s connectivity network would not be affected, and that the safety of users can be improved.

“As per directive of the National Security Council (NSC), JKR is responsible for providing vehicles and manpower for disaster maintenance work and transport logistics.

“JKR also plays a role in providing temporary shelters such as canopies or tents, technical services and expertise in the fields of forensic engineering, geotechnics, structures and others such as landslides and structural failure of buildings or land as well as carrying out damage assessments of public infrastructure due to disasters,” he said in a statement today.

Furthermore, Nanta emphasised the readiness of the ‘Bailey Bridge’, a temporary bridge that can be swiftly installed in as quickly as 36 hours, as an alternative route to reconnect areas cut off due to disasters.

“The bridge is one of the important assets in the ministry that has proven to be effective in the ministry’s efforts to take swift action in dealing with natural disaster situations.

“The bridges spanning 1,960 feet are stored at seven storage facilities throughout Peninsular Malaysia covering the northern, central, southern and eastern zones, namely in Alor Setar (Kedah), Kinta (Perak), Petaling (Selangor), Kuala Pilah (Negeri Sembilan), Johor Bahru (Johor), Temerloh (Pahang) and in Machang (Kelantan),” he said.

Nanta added that routine maintenance is diligently executed for bridges and sewer assets in accordance with a predefined schedule and cycle. This maintenance includes tasks such as waterway cleaning, vegetation control, debris removal from sewers, verification inspections for damaged or failed bridge and sewer assets, preparation of alternative repair proposals, and immediate repair work.

“JKR will also activate the standard operating procedures (SOP) for roads affected by disasters by implementing road closures as soon as possible to ensure the safety of road users, warning the public of disasters,” he said. — DayakDaily