JOHOR BARU, Jan 13, 2016:
A 40-year-old motorcyclist today became the victim of the badly-managed Sungai Segget flood mitigation and rejuvenation project.
He fell into a 4m-deep hole inside the construction area just in front of the popular Johor Baru City Square shopping centre in Jalan Wong Ah Fook.
Despite the sharp metal mountings near the hole, Sharifudin Mohd survived the ordeal.
He claimed he was avoiding being hit by a car. He was on the way back to his office when the incident happened at 2.50pm.
Sharifudin, who works as a forwarding agent, suffered minor injuries and was believed to have fractured his hand.
“The incident happened in a split second. A car squeezed into my lane and someone opened the door to alight.
“This caused my Yamaha motorcycle to fall into the uncovered hole in the Sungai Segget construction project,” he told The Rakyat Post.
Sharifudin’s brother sent him to hospital.
He said the contractor had failed to properly cover the hole, making it hazardous for passersby.
“We are talking about people’s lives here. I am lucky that I am still alive,” he said, adding that none of the contractors or construction workers offered to help him when he fell.
The construction of the Sungai Segget flood mitigation and rejuvenation project is under the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda).
Since development started in July last year by Irda on the RM220 million project, its construction has became the bane of Johor Baru residents, with constant flash flooding and other dangers posed to road users.
The construction along Jalan Wong Ah Fook had been perceived as being badly managed by many motorists.
“Such a matter would not have happened in the first place if Irda and its contractors had better supervision of the construction areas.
“I will lodge a police report and possibly take legal action against the parties responsible.”
At press time, images of Sharifudin’s near miss with death have been circulating on several Johor-based Whats App group chats.
Sharifudin, who is a seasoned rider, is also a member of several recreational motorcycle groups in Johor Baru.
Johor Baru Selatan police chief Assistant Commissioner Sulaiman Salleh advised victims of road accidents, including those caused by construction, to lodge police reports.
“At the same time, police will also investigate the matter as it involves the safety of motorists.”
Irda, a federal agency that oversees development in south Johor, has had safety problems at some of its construction worksites.
Several years ago, during the construction of the coastal highway infrastructure project in Johor Baru, a car was flattened after construction debris fell on it in Jalan Skudai.
The car’s driver and passenger escaped unhurt.