Monday, June 13, 2011

Residents infuriated by City Hall’s inconsiderate move

Barren land: Bukit OUG residents are concerned that the land clearing works would affect the stability of the slope on which their perimeter wall sits.

Bukit OUG residents in Kuala Lumpur are concerned over the safety of their property after parcels of land in the neighbourhood were cleared, leaving a hillslope exposed.

The perimeter wall of the Bukit OUG condo sits on top of a hillslope that previously had trees on it.

Over 30 residents recently gathered with Seputeh MP Teresa Kok to protest against developments in the area.

Bukit OUG Condominiums Residents Association vice-president Charles Ho said the entire stretch of land between their property and the Sungai Kuyoh river was divided into three plots and works to clear the first plot beside Jalan 3/155 had started on June 5.

Ho said they had written a letter to Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail on March 4 protesting against the high-rise residential development, citing noise, traffic congestion and environmental impact, among others, as potential problems.

“We received a letter from the Commissioner of Buildings on March 25 but nothing from the town planning department.

“The JMB (Joint Management Body) had a meeting with the developer on April 15 but it was an informal one without the presence of anyone from the DBKL,” Ho told a press conference after the protest.

He said clearing works have started but there were no clear signboards informing residents of the development projects being worked on.

Resident Tan Jo Hann said there was another signboard next to the land across the road notifying that the land was being cleared to build a two-storey multi-purpose hall but the land area seemed too big for just a hall.

The DBKL also recently put up another signboard to inform the public that an application has been received to increase the density of the middle plot of land from 60 people per acre to 500 and to build four blocks of 31 to 33-storey flats with six levels of car park.

Tan claimed that work to clear the land has started even before the June 18 objection period deadline.

He said based on his research, Sungai Kuyoh, which ran next to the land, has been listed under the riverside corridor category of the Environmental Protection Zone (EPZ) of the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan.

“Because of this, land 50m from the river should not be developed. Besides this, the slope on the land is more than 35 degrees so DBKL should take this into consideration. There has been previous cases of landslides around here,” said Tan.

“They have proposed an access road along our perimeter wall, on top of the slope. Since the land has been divided into three plots, who will then be responsible for the maintenance of the slope?” said Ho.

He said the bridge along Jalan 3/155 was also not very stable and had previously sunk at the ends due to heavy traffic.

Kok said she has been told that the bridge was a temporary one and nothing has been done to upgrade the bridge or widen it.

“I used to stay around here and it would take me at least 15 minutes just to get out of the area onto Jalan Awan Besar and the situation is worse now.

“What would happen to the traffic with all this additional developments?” said Kok.

She said that DBKL have been in the habit of approving development projects even before they address the infrastructure in the area.

“Even the proposed MRT station has not been built, how can they approve projects? There are so many high-rise projects being approved yet there are no allocation for open spaces like playgrounds or parks,” said Kok.

She said that she would assist the residents to bring up this matter to the DBKL and would try to raise this issue in the next parliamentary seating.

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