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Landslide risk in Bangsar neighbourhood may stem from land clearing

 

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 18): Bangsar’s Jalan Abdullah residents have been worried about the slope adjacent to their homes for two years now. 

Every time heavy rains fall, their fears resurface. 

Malay Mail reports that several storms last month resulted in a rambutan tree falling onto a house, causing damage to the roof and some tiling on the floor. Homeowner T. Ksharmini was quoted as saying that she could see the soil moving. 

“It was very terrifying to see the soil keep sliding down from the hillslope next to my house. I could see a coconut tree in the vicinity of my house sliding as the soil was moving. I was just praying that nothing like a landslide would happen then,” she said.

Built in the 1950s, her home is a heritage property that has been preserved by her family through the years.

“This is our family heirloom which we want to preserve. My house isn’t the only one which is heritage... there are several others on this road,” she said.

The news portal reports that the Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur (SKL) civil society group warned of potential massive landslides next to these Jalan Abdullah homes following land clearing.

SKL’s adviser Datuk M. Ali was quoted as saying that the lack of preventive measures caused soil erosion, and that the tree that fell on T. Ksharmini’s house is proof “that at the time of land clearing and when carrying out some construction work, the landowners did not take fool-proof measures to prevent soil erosion.”

The existing space between the metal borders of the development and the house is a mere 1.5 metres, too near, according to Ali.

“They must do something about this before worse things happen especially during the monsoon season.

“In fact, they should have done something immediately after they cleared the land to prevent soil erosion,” he said.

He has called upon Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to take action against those responsible for causing the soil erosion.

S P Setia Bhd in 2012 is reported as, through a land swap deal, having acquired a parcel of land belonging to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The parcel is connected to Bukit Persekutuan and adjoins Jalan Abdullah.

The swap entailed S P Setia constructing a new facility for NIH in Setia Alam, Shah Alam, the flagship township of the developer, as well as a 12-storey government quarters building to be constructed, and a mega commercial development on the former NIH land.

S P Setia has yet to receive a development order for the mega project, but the 12-storey government quarters has been completed, and the development order for NIH’s new complex has already been received. 

S P Setia, when contacted by the news portal, replied: “No comment.”

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