Saturday, 26 April 2008

What's Happening To Menara MDBPB?

Does anyone know what’s happening to the 14th storey Menara Majlis Daerah Batu Pahat Barat? The bus terminal for express buses is of course doing good business and the huge awning to shelter these buses and travellers is a welcomed convenience in case of rain. In contrast, the local bus terminal which houses buses that ply the Batu Pahat routes is a dark, suffocating hole that has seen better days.

While a part of the road, Jalan Soga which provides access to the bus station is cordoned off on both sides for local taxis, depriving the public of limited parking lots and adding to the congestion, the taxi terminal on the 3rd floor remains empty.

The first and second floor are occupied by traders and food providers, but the bored faces of these retailers paint a dismal picture of poor business. Many shops have closed down. A retailer recently wrote to a newspaper complaining that traders who have taken up lots in the complex have been losing money due to poor business.

It is disturbing that many of the floors remain empty.

What was the cost of putting up the building? How did the district council finance the building? Is it from the reserves that they have accumulated? Or is it from a bank loan in which case the loan has to be serviced? Can the district council continue to service the loan given the poor occupancy rate? Or was the land leased to a construction company to put up the building and operate and maintain the bus station and the building itself?

It seems like Batu Pahat residents will have to continue to bear the cost of MDBPB's miscalculation.

The 14th storey Menara Majlis Daerah Batu Pahat Barat or MDBPB

The Express bus station outside the Menara

The busy road leading to the bus station. Part of the road on both sides has been usurped by the local taxis plying the district

The cavernous hole that serves as the domestic bus terminal

The entrance leading to the taxi terminal on the third floor

The signboard showing the various floors of the Menara. Note that only two floors are occupied

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