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A storm brews over underground tunnel

Story and pictures by STEPHEN NG
metro@thestar.com.my 

Abdul Qudus ... 'we are hoping for a pedestrian bridge at the site''
BENEATH the East-West Express Link, near the Giant hypermarket in Taman Connaught, Cheras, is a storm tunnel that has become the only convenient access to cross the busy highway.  

Twenty-five-year-old Norsapina Wahab and Abdul Qudus, a student from Nigeria, are oblivious to what goes on above them as they use the tunnel to get across.  

Like for Norsapina and Abdul Qudus, others too find the storm tunnel their only passageway to get to work or to attend classes at a nearby college.  

Norsapina, an employee with Giant Superstore in Taman Con-naught, said every morning she walked through the 30m stretch to get to work.  

“It can be dangerous at seven in the morning when not many people use the tunnel,” she said.  

“But, how else can I get to work? From where I live, my workplace is so near, yet so far,” said Norsapina, whose house is on the opposite side of her workplace.  

The nearest pedestrian bridge is at least 500m away.  

It is dangerous to use the storm tunnel, but it is equally dangerous to cross the busy East-West Express Link in Taman Connaught, Cheras.
Abdul Qudus said he had been using the storm tunnel for the last eight months since he moved into Cendekia Apartment. 

“We hope the local authority will build a pedestrian bridge nearer to the tunnel and it would then be a safer passage for us,'' he said.  

Questions arise as to who ought to build the overhead bridge.  

Metramac public relations manager Fazlyton Husein said her company had fulfilled the requirements to build a number of overhead bridges as stipulated by the Malaysian Highway Authority.  

“Although the storm tunnel does not come under our jurisdiction, we have done our best to warn the public not to it,” she said.  

City Hall public relations officer Anwar Mohd Zain could not be reached for comments. However, one of his assistants said she would refer the matter to the relevant department to determine whose responsibility it is to build the bridge.  




  


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