Thursday, April 15

‘Felling of angsana trees for safety of road users’

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KUCHING: The angsana trees along Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub that have been cut down will be replaced with lower landscape plants for the safety of road users, said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi.

He said those trees were already 30 to 40 years old and their branches started to fall off on their own, which were hazardous to road users especially during heavy rain and storms.

“The branches of the trees fell on their own and hit passing vehicles. This year alone there were seven incidents, which had caused accidents.

“In the past few years there were two deaths that resulted after fallen branches hit vehicles,” he told reporters after the launch of the state-level Malaysia Greening Programme tree-planting campaign at Bukit Siol yesterday.

Dr Abdul Rahman said he had to clarify the situation following queries on social media by some residents as to why Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) was cutting down the trees.

He said the exercise has been in progress for the past few months along that stretch of road, which has some 200 angsana trees.

“About 95 per cent of them have been cut down. It will be completed in the next few months.

“We are only cutting down the angsana trees, not the raintrees. Raintrees are more lasting,” he added.

The decision to cut down the trees was made known in early March this year at a DBKU press conference chaired by Dr Abdul Rahman, where he said the trees would be cut down for the safety of road users. He also said that after the trees were cut down they would be replaced by landscape plants as part of DBKU’s landscape change project for areas under its jurisdiction.