By Sheila Sri Priya
PETALING JAYA: Bukit Gasing has suffered much wear and tear over the years because of the large number of visitors it attracts especially during the weekends.
It is estimated that Bukit Gasing
receives almost 1,400 visitors during the weekend and 500 on a weekday between morning to late evening.
The Petaling Jaya City Council has plans to provide parking facilities, an environmental education centre and public toilets at an estimated cost of RM200,000.
There are no parking spots now available for Bukit Gasing visitors.
The Petaling District
Office has allocated 40ha of land, beside the official residence of Petaling district officer, to be converted into a free
parking lot with 81 parking spots for visitors. The big trees will be spared
when the piece of land is converted into a car park.
The environmental education centre will act as the Bukit Gasing information hub for visitors, especially students. Information on the types of plant, animal and insect species that can be found in the park will be displayed there.
Users will need to pay 20 sen per visit to the public toilets which will go towards the toilets' maintenance.
Petaling Jaya environment health officer Mahzura Mohd Amin said vandalism was a problem.
"Thieves and drug addicts have stolen aluminum signboards and sold them for cash. The entrance to the park looks run down and broken," she said.
Mahzura said the entrance will soon be blocked with better barricades to prevent motorcyclist from entering Bukit Gasing.
The stolen sign boards, broken bridges and worn steps inside Bukit Gasing will be replaced and repaired within three months. The estimated cost for the work is RM150,000.
Councillor Derek Fernandez said the council had an allocation of only RM100,000 a year for the maintenance of Bukit Gasing. He said the amount needed to be increased to at least RM500,000.
"The Taman Jaya lake gets an allocation of RM500,000 every year for upgrading and maintenance works. Bukit Gasing also has a large number of visitors and we need to maintain this precious green lung.
"City Hall must play an active role and care for their side of the hill," said Fernandez.
"On weekends, cars are parked on both sides of the road because there aren't parking spots. Once the car park is ready, we hope the visitors will park at the allocated space. The council might tow cars that are parked at the roadside once the car park is ready."
Fernandez thanked volunteers for their efforts to clean Bukit Gasing.
He urged those who visit Bukit Gasing to only leave their footprints behind and nothing else.