Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Brunei Town

Public grievances come first

Rokiah Mahmud

The Ministry of Development (MoD) continues to enhance enforcement efforts in accordance to laws and policies.

This was highlighted by Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid at the 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) session on Saturday.

The minister said 228 individuals and 117 companies have been issued compound fines under the Miscellaneous Offences Act (Amendment) 2021 for improper dumping of waste disposal in public areas, adding that offenders included those caught on CCTV surveillance at illegal dumping hotspots.

Meanwhile, through the Department of Town and Country Planning (TCP), there have been 27 warrants issued under the Town and Country Planning Order 2015 on the Minor Offences Regulations with compound fines totalling BND6,750.

The minister added that these compounds pertain to unauthorised activities including obstructing passage, driveway and parking spaces, and offences involving building lines and landscape areas.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda said the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi) has also taken action on offences related to the Building Control Order 2014, by issuing 354 reminders, warnings and reprimand letters.

The authority has also issued 17 first enforcement notice and 11 final enforcement notices. Since November 2021, under the provision of Section 71 Compounding Regulation, some 35 compounds have been issues related to the installation of advertisements and signboards without permission.

The minister added that three compounds have been issued for carrying out construction work without a valid contractor licence.

The ministry is confident that its enforcement efforts will raise public awareness on the importance of complying with the construction law, land planning and cleanliness.

The efforts aim to ensure safety in the construction industry, reduce risks that may affect public safety and maintain cleanliness while preventing potentially harmful environmental pollution.

The minister also encouraged the public to continue submitting their complaints and giving feedback through available platforms including Darussalam Line 123 and social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

In 2022, the ministry received 55,448 complaints through the Darussalam Line 123.

The highest complaints, accounting for 62 per cent of the 34,743 grievances, were related to water supply disruptions.

Some 96.99 per cent of the complaints have been resolved, while 1.95 per cent (698) are still pending.

The second highest number of complaints were related to the Department of Roads.

In 2022, 8,693 complaints were received with 69 per cent pertaining to roads that had already been repaired by the department, while 31 per cent have yet been resolved.

The complaints include damaged and potholed roads, malfunctioning traffic lights, fallen trees, clogged drains, overgrown grass, flooded roads, damaged road signs, guardrails, drain grating and faded road markings, as well as requests for safety mirrors, humps and zebra crossings to be installed.

On road damage, 3,828 complaints or applications for road construction and repair at the Department of Roads are still waiting to be closed or resolved.

The majority of the complaints received are about damaged and potholed roads, requests to asphalt junctions and related issues, which are among the highest number of complaints.

The department also frequently receives complaints about damaged traffic lights.

About 18 per cent, or 2,794 complaints, consisted of issues related to malfunctioning traffic lights.

As for the issue of electrical supply to traffic lights, the MoD will liaise with the Department of Electrical Services and the Department of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office to address it together.

The Department of Drainage and Sewerage received 3,023 complaints (5.45 per cent), the third highest number of complaints received by the ministry.

The complaints frequently received by the department were related to clogged and damaged drainage and sewerage systems, with 92 complaints still unresolved, while 2,765, or 91.4 per cent, have already been repaired. Out of the 55,448 complaints received by the MoD in 2022, 47,808 (86.22 per cent) have been resolved.

However, 7,640 complaints (13.78 per cent) are still pending and have not been resolved due to various limitations. These complaints are still being addressed.

The minister said the MoD prioritises addressing public complaints as it is a benchmark for the ministry to assess and improve the quality of its services in ensuring that public welfare is given the best attention and action possible.

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