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  • Writer's pictureSr Samsul Farhan Samsuddin

Why Utility Mapping is important in Malaysia?

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

Its because,

  • What lies beneath the surface cannot be seen.

  • Dangers exist with certain utilities, i.e gas pipeline and high voltage power cable.

  • Existing maps / drawings may be inaccurate, outdated, or non-existing.

The numbers of utilities damage in Malaysia is ALARMING?

There are some news that discuss matters related to accidents as a result of not doing mapping or contacting the responsible party before excavation is carried out.


1) Contractors Urged To Contact TNB before Digging Works

TNB Website - November 22, 2018

Contractors doing earth digging works are urged to contact Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to get advice and maps which show the locations of its networks of underground cables. The dangers of hitting underground electricity cables can be avoided if contractors take precautionary measures including contacting TNB before undertaking work that involves penetrating the ground at or below surface level. Refer press statement below:

2) Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) called on contractors to seek advice and a map showing the location of the underground cable network before digging.

Bernama - November 22, 2018 @ 2:58pm

According to a TNB statement today, this is to prevent contractors from damaging and damaging such cables that could cause electrical shock or electrical outages that could lead to death, injury, explosion and fire.

So far this year, more than 43,000 TNB customers have experienced electricity disruption following excavation work in Peninsular Malaysia, and 464 times energy disruption over the past 10 months this year following similar activities.

"The contractor was urged to contact the nearest TNB office before doing any excavation work, especially in the vicinity or suspected of near underground electrical cables," TNB said.

3) Refer to us first before digging, TNB tells contractors

NST Website - March 5, 2020 @ 3:53pm by Aidil Razak KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has recorded 689 cases of power supply disruption last year, caused by third-party digging works, which effected its 530,000 customers.

“We would like to reiterate to all those who carry out digging works to contact TNB first before commencing any work. Early reviews with us can reduce the risk of damaging TNB underground cables, thereby reducing supply disruption,” said TNB Distribution Network head (Operations) Wan Nazmy Wan Mahmood, in a statement Thursday.

The most recent supply disruption happened in Larkin, Johor affecting 8,000 customers. The disruption resulted from damaged TNB cable at Jalan Dato Jaafar (near the Johor Baru South police headquarters). The incident happened at 1.31am and lasted until 4.47am on Feb 27.

It was the 6th case following the damage to TNB cable between the Kajang transmission main intake (PMU) and Kajang MRT main switching station (SSU) on February 19, due to third-party digging works. The damage in Kajang, Selangor, has put the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) operation of the Sungai Buloh to Kajang (SBK) route on a halt.

TNB urged contractors to notify the work to be done via the 'Call Before You Dig' portal at which allows contractors to check with utility providers about cable or pipelines in the work area.

Image Credit: MAFB

For information on power outages, contractors and users should contact TNB Careline 15454 TNB Careline for enquiries.

Image Credit: cshotline

4) Others Utility Providers

These are among the accidents that have been reported, many other incidents have occurred throughout Malaysia and involved other utility providers such as Gas Malaysia, water companies, sewerage companies and even telco companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there any other way for us to avoid damage to underground utilities before excavation work is done?

  2. Is there a way for us to know the position of underground utilities without doing dredging?

  3. Is there the fastest and safest method to get an accurate underground utility position?

To answer all the above questions, there are technologies that we can use to obtain underground utility positions without having to conduct excavation activities. It is also safe, fast and accurate.

This method is referred to by various names such as

  • Underground Utility Mapping

  • Utility Mapping

  • Underground Utility Scanning

  • Underground Utility Location

  • Underground Utility Detection

  • Non-intrusive underground utility locating

Yet it refers to one purpose which is to obtain an underground utility position without excavation. For more information on how to prevent accidents due to excavation work, refer to this link Utility Mapping Malaysia

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