TRADERS in Petaling Street are concerned over the polycarbon sheets that make up the roof becoming loose and falling.
There are 773 traders along the street, including those who operate only at night.
So far there have been six incidents of the sheets falling from the roof structure, according to Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.
“The material used to build the phase 2 roof structure is of inferior quality compared with that used in phase 1.
Missing pieces: Some of the polycarbon sheets used in the phase 2 roof structure have become loose within the past year, leaving gaps in the structure.
“The colour of the polycarbon sheets used for the phase 2 structure differs from one sheet to another, unlike those in phase 1, where the roof is a uniform colour,” Fong told reporters in Petaling Street yesterday.
The phase 1 roof covers the part of the street between its junction with Jalan Hang Lekir and Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, while phase 2 covers the other half of the street all the way to Jalan Sultan.
Fong added that last year, an woman shopper sustained minor injuries to her arm due to a falling polycarbon sheet.
“The sheet had first fallen on to the roof of a trader’s stall, which took most of the impact, before it bounced off and hit the woman,” Fong said.
On Wednesday, another sheet had became loose and flapped in the strong winds.
“After receiving the traders’ calls, I contacted the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and they came early this morning to remove the sheet,” Fong said.
He added that there were a few other loose sheets and hoped the DBKL could remove them.
In July, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin announced during his walkabout in the area that the roof would be replaced soon and that the roof of the traders’ stalls would be extended.
“I hope the contractor will use good quality material, like that used in phase 1,” Fong said.
According to him, the entire roofing project took two years and was completed in 2003 at a cost of RM15mil.
“When I meet the Kuala Lumpur mayor next week, I will ask him to speed up the roof replacement project because this concerns the safety of people,” Fong said.
On another issue, Fong said about 300 stalls that lined Petaling Street and Jalan Hang Lekir had extensions of about 0.6m added to their existing roof last month.
“The extensions were added in stages and completed within a month.
“The stalls now have roofs that reach the road shoulder and I hope they will no longer put up plastic sheets to extend their roof even further to display their wares,” Fong said.
He added that putting up illegal extensions, including plastic sheets, would endanger passers-by and the traders themselves as passing vehicles could easily knock them down.
“Not only is it dangerous, but the standard green roofing used for the extensions is supposed to beautify the street, and putting up plastic sheets will defeat its purpose,” Fong said.
Also present at the press conference was Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association vice-chairman Datuk Ang Say Tee.
“I hope the roof will be replaced as soon as possible because it is the mega sale period and there are a lot of tourists visiting the street,” Ang said.
The Star, Metro