Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lawmakers want faulty KL traffic info system scrapped

Source: (By By Clara Chooi, Assistant News Editor, 16 October 2012)
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers today demanded Putrajaya scrap its RM365 million Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS), an eight-year-old traffic monitoring system that the Auditor-General’s Report 2011 has highlighted for wastages and described as “unsatisfactory”. In the report released yesterday, it was revealed that despite the project’s implementation since 2005, a significant 70.6 per cent of road users were not aware of its existence and its hotline number, while 65 per cent have never used ITIS online to obtain the latest traffic information.
ITIS kicked off operations in 2005 with the co-operation of KL City Hall (DBKL), the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA), Transport Ministry and the Public Works Department (PWD) as a system to monitor traffic, accidents, roadworks and other activities occurring on roads and highways in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley.
Citing a parliamentary reply on June 18 this year, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng told a press conference here that it had already been revealed that only 46 of the 140 Variable Message Sign (VMS) display units under the ITIS are currently functional. Under ITIS, real-time information of traffic conditions are meant to be disseminated via the VMS to help reduce traffic congestion within the city. “The federal territories minister told the Dewan Rakyat that the main cause of the malfunction and breaking down of the VMS is because the components have achieved their economic age and there are no replacement parts available in the market,” Lim said. He pointed out that the ministry had also revealed that despite this, an annual allocation of RM1.5 million has been granted to DBKL to maintain the ITIS. “So for eight years, they have paid RM12 million... they are paying them every year to purchase spare parts that no longer exist,” he said.
Lim also cited the Auditor-General’s Report as revealing that the government had allocated RM36.87 million to DBKL to purchase a building for ITIS but City Hall had instead used RM8.49 million to rent premises for the system. “My question is: was the remaining allocation used for other purposes or was it returned to the government?” he asked. He pointed out that the report had also revealed that DBKL’s tenancy agreement was for a 30-year period, indicating a possibility that the RM1.5 million maintenance allocation for ITIS may continue for the same period.
“We want to know if the government plans on discontinuing ITIS due to these concerns raised... or do they plan on proceeding with the faulty system, at the risk of squandering more taxpayers’ monies?” he said.
Agreeing, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar pointed out that the ITIS project, which involves some 255 CCTVs and 728 automatic incident detection cameras, had on its launch in 2005 been meant to help the authorities with crime fighting. But, she said, after five years of implementation, the authorities, including DBKL, had repeatedly refused to update lawmakers on the system’s failures and status of the allocations. “This is another clear reason why we in Pakatan reject the system of awarding projects via direct tender,” she said.
Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said the system should be scrapped entirely as it had purportedly failed to fulfil its objectives. “Today, road users rely more on obtaining traffic information from radio stations instead of using the ITIS,” he said.
Related news: PR MPs point out flaws in ITIS system

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