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New landscaping for oldest roundabout

by Jonathan Chia, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on July 25, 2013, Thursday

NEW DESIGN: Abang Wahap (second right) shows the proposed landscaping plan for Bulatan Datuk Abang Kipali Bin Abang Akip. At left is DBKU director Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat, while DBKU landscape architect and certified arborist Mohd Benyamin Julaihi Khan is at right. — Photo by Jeffery Mostapa

KUCHING: The city’s oldest roundabout, Bulatan Datuk Abang Kipali Bin Abang Akip at Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman Yaakup in Petra Jaya, will soon have new landscaping.

Kuching North Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai said considering the roundabout’s significance, the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) felt it was time to give it a new image with a more interesting, colourful and conducive landscape design.

“Considering the age of the trees and some of them have rotted, we were advised by our arborist to fell the trees and replace them with new trees,” he said, adding that 147 new trees and some 5,000 shrubs would be planted.

“The whole landscaping exercise would take about three months to be completed,” he said during a media visit to the roundabout yesterday.

Abang Wahap said the landscaping exercise was also in line with DBKU’s Kuching City Clean, Beautiful and Safe Improvement Plan, which was launched early this year.

The landscaping project is estimated to cost about RM70,000 and will be fully implemented by DBKU staff to test their capabilities.

He assured the public that DBKU would not remove trees unnecessarily as the commission has included in its key performance indicator that for every tree felled, three others would be planted.

The roundabout, which was built in the mid-70s by the then Kuching Rural District Council (KRDC), now serves as an important gateway to areas such as Gita, Matang, Jalan Astana and Semariang.

Abang Wahap said DBKU hopes to turn the roundabout into something iconic that the people would always enjoy looking at.

Trees selected include Bucida (silver), Eugenia Oleana, Rain Tree and Caesalpina Ferrea, which can be easily relocated elsewhere.

The public would see the fruits of the landscaping exercise around one year after completion as the trees would take time to grow.

Abang Wahap said DBKU is also considering an urban forest for Kuching’s biggest roundabout at Jalan Sultan Tengah as well as beautification work on the other six roundabouts under its jurisdiction.

“What we want to do is we want to engage the community and we want to get private sector to come in. In fact, a few have indicated their willingness to more or less sponsor (the projects) but we are still drawing up the plans and there may be some legal requirements to be looked into,” he added.

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