Community orchard to replace retention pond.
Story and photo by SALINA KHALID
The Star Metro, Tuesday 16, June 2009
Lets consider an imaginery hypothetical case. Do you want Bandar Botanic lake to be like our Shah Alam neighbor? Here is a little something for you to ponder during your week-end and think of your children, grand-children when you ponder! Dont be so heartless!
A retention pond which has become a nightmare for the residents of Taman Puteri Subang in Section U5, Shah Alam, will be turned into a community orchard.
The project, to be implemented by the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA), will be carried out in stages. It will be a pilot project and if successful will be copied for other areas.
Soon to change: Mohd Tahir looking at the retention pond that is covered with thick undergrowth during a visit to Taman Subang Puteri on Sunday.
“We are turning the 1.5ha retention pond into a community orchard for the residents to enjoy.
“We hope to do the land-clearing sometime this month and start planting trees by next month.
“This is the first time we are doing this project,” MBSA Park and Recreation director Mohd Tahir Man told reporters on Sunday after attending a meeting with residents in the area.
The meeting was chaired by MBSA councillor A. Sivarajan who is also Zone 18 (including Section U5) residents’ representative council (MPP) chairman.
Also present was Taman Subang Puteri residents association chairman Mohd Khairy Buyong.
Tahir said they hoped the programme would solve the problems faced by the residents with regard to the retention pond.
“We are planning to plant about 200 fruit trees in the area.
“We hope to include other features like jogging track and reflexology path, too,” he said.
Some of the species to be planted are those that are hard to find in the market such as nam-nam, yellow rambutan, cermai and asam kandis. There will also be dokong, ciku, jackfruit, rambai, pulasan, mangosteen, and soursop trees.
Residents can also grow vegetables for their own consumption in the area.
“We hope this orchard will also serve as a learning ground for the community especially children as many do not know how these fruit trees look like.
“At the same time we hope this orchard will bring the community together since they have the ownership of the place and have to take care of it,” he said, adding that each tree would be labelled.
At the same time, he said the city council together with the Agriculture Department would help with expert advice and equipment to ensure that the project was a success.
The pond, which is located in front of their residential area, between Persiaran Kejora and Persiaran Angkasa, has been the source of headaches for the residents in the past few years.
It is an eyesore since most of the houses are built facing the poorly maintained pond. It is also home to snakes and monitor lizards.
The residents claimed that the thick undergrowth had also contributed to the dengue cases in their neighbourhood.
“We had caught two snakes in the area before and one of them was inside the house,” said Khairy.
He added that as a resident, he welcomed the move and thanked the city council for it.
“We are not hoping so much for the fruit harvest but to get rid of an eyesore in our midst,” he said.
Khairy said he would meet the residents to divide the tasks of upkeeping the area.
Tahir said the retention pond was located on state land and the MBSA had been entrusted as its caretaker.
Work to gazette the piece of land as a green area for the community is being carried out.