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Journey to the East Part 2

REMEMBER the RM100 million for upgrading works along the East Coast Expressway (ECE) bandied about in Part 1 of this “journey” series last week? Well, a big chunk of the money is used to reinstall fences along the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway (KLK) and ECE Phase 1, which form the ECE. The fences are to bar livestock from going on the roads. This is one of the efforts by ECE concessionaire Anih Bhd to ensure users’ safety. The fences need to be reinstalled following “violations” by vandals. We are told that the vandals even took their luck a little further by throwing stones and sharp objects towards the passing vehicles from the high bridges.

This is rather amusing to them but the truth is, it could cause major accidents to the drivers. The concessionaire has been working with the authorities to ensure legal actions are taken against the perpetrators. During the recent Hari Raya Haji, it was estimated that 2.6 million vehicles used ECE. With the kind of traffic, there are bound to be some inconveniences. We travelled two days prior to the Eid Adha celebration. The traffic was heavy but we could have avoided this had we followed the Travel Time Advisory suggested by Anih. But there was nothing much for us to rant on as the slow moving areas were often at the climbing stretches. This could hardly be avoided following heavy vehicles i.e lorries and trailers travelling at the same time.

At one of the rest and service areas (RSAs) in Gambang, there was water supply problem. The explanation given was that due to its location on top of the hill, low pressure from the source prevented the supply of sufficient water to the RSA. While the problem was beyond its jurisdiction, Anih took an interim initiative by deploying tankers to provide clean water to the RSA. Putting the setbacks aside, there’s a couple of things that we should be grateful for: ECE helps bridge people to well-known tourism spots like Taman Negara Pahang, Janda Baik and Bukit Gambang Resort City, and opens up the gate for food hunters. The most talked about dish in the East Coast is probably “ikan patin masak tempoyak” in Temerloh. Many of us have relatives and friends from KL who would do a day trip just to indulge in the authentic dish there.

Overall, my family’s journey on ECE has always been a breeze and we do enjoy the services it offers. There were eight RSAs and five laybys on both bounds all together. Credit should be given where it is due. It’s an excellent job by the concessionaire with the food stalls and selection, washrooms, prayer halls and parking spaces. There are more customer service centres or better known as Pusat Khidmat Pelanggan (PKP) along the highway. There are now PKPs at Gombak, Bentong, Karak, Temerloh and Kuantan, and they are open every day from 7am-10pm. If you have experienced the journey on ECE, you will not be easily swayed by what you read on social media. A case in point is the highway oil spill issue which has gone viral a few times this year. We should always check on the accuracy before deciding to click on the share button as it can be very damaging to the parties involved. For convenience, you can visit the official Twitter account of ECE and search for @LPTTrafik for traffic and other information updates on KLK and ECE 1. Enjoy your journey to the East! Thank you for reading.

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