Monday, June 20, 2011

Wall and gate torn down after complaint from neighbour

Gone: The wall separating Rajaretnam’s compound and the door to the unit upstairs was broken down by DBKL. Note original wall next door.

A feud with the upstairs neighbour that started three years ago is back to haunt R. Rajaretnam.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officers broke down the wall of Rajaretnam’s house in Taman Seputeh on May 28, 2009 after a complaint by the neighbour.

Since then, the family has been living in fear of intruders and now they are reliving the nightmare as DBKL officers are back with more harassment.

DBKL, acting on a complaint from Rajaretnam’s upstairs neighbour, demolished the wall separating the compound downstairs with the entrance to the house upstairs.

He said the officers cited the infringement of certain town planning by-laws and explained that the front compound of his house was common property.

Rajaretnam and his family agreed to the demolition with the condition that a gate be placed by the neighbour to protect the grounds from intruders. However, the gate has not been put up.

The DBKL agreed to this in a meeting and even provided the minutes and a diagram of the gate, a copy of which was sent to Rajaretnam as well.

Afraid for the safety of his wife and five young children, Rajaretnam has filed numerous reports with DBKL, the Public Complaints Bureau and the police to help solve the issue but to no avail.

A month ago, DBKL came back based on another complaint by the same neighbour, citing an illegal extension behind the house.

“The extension has been here for over 40 years just like the wall that was built when the development first took place. How is it that a mere zinc roof behind the house is more important than the safety of the entire family?” asked Rajaretnam.

Rajaretnam also questioned DBKL’s lack of efficiency in dealing with his complaints that was lodged since the issue first arose.

Upon hearing the plight of Rajaretnam, several MIC Youth members visited the family recently.

After reviewing the sale and purchase agreement, MIC National Youth Social Welfare Bureau chairman S. Subramaniam said the house was classified as a double-storey terrace house instead of a townhouse.

“DBKL has to give a clear indication as to why the demolition exercise was conducted since the land status is not stated clearly. Even if it is a townhouse or a double-storey terrace, the wall is to divide the entrance to both houses,” he said.

The MIC Youth legal bureau will be sending a demand letter requesting for a reply and the reasons behind DBKL’s actions.

When contacted, corporate communications director Anwar Mohd Zain said DBKL had been trying to resolve the dispute for some time now. Several discussions had been carried out between both parties.

Anwar said DBKL would ensure that the promises made between both parties would be carried out, including Rajaretnam’s gate.
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