KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 – Residents of Jalan Abdullah have requested the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if there is a natural waterway below their settlement area.
The call comes two years after they first objected to a 32-story development that will be sandwiched between their existing homes, a resident said on behalf of the owners of Jalan Abdullah.
“We have been arguing about this for two years and have taken steps to request that checks be carried out on the existence of a natural watercourse in this area.
“Whether or not a natural waterway exists will determine the safety of residents if a 32-story luxury condominium is allowed to be built here.
“As the case no longer involves a single project developer, we really hope that DBKL will review our report on the recent floods possibly caused by the natural waterway,” said longtime resident T. Ksharmini.
To date, 10 affected homeowners have filed a report with DBKL regarding flash flooding they recently experienced and have yet to receive comment.
Is there a natural watercourse?
Residents of Jalan Abdullah are certain that there is a natural waterway, memories of which go back to their childhood.
“Some locals remember there was a stream here when they were younger. Some say it’s almost the size of a river.
“So all we’re asking the authorities to do is carry out another survey in the area to see if there is a natural waterway, because they insisted there wasn’t, but our checks told us otherwise,” Ksharmini said.
According to Ksharmini, it was at a meeting last December where the independent auditor appointed by the project developer and the representative of the Department of Minerals and Geosciences (JMG) both said there was no natural waterway in the region.
“The independent verifier said the nearest waterway in the area is the Klang River.
“We were surprised at the inability of both parties to identify the presence of the natural waterway in the area and equally surprised was the JMG representative that we have in our possession a document from JMG itself confirming the presence of a natural waterway in the area,” she said.
She added that residents were also shocked that the information about the presence of the natural watercourse was presented twice.
The first took place during a meeting held on March 27, 2021 at the office of Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil in the presence of DBKL officers and the project promoter.
The second was via banners placed at residents’ compounds showing a map of JMG and natural waterway damage to the structure of an apartment (Sri Bangsar) located along Lengkok Abdullah.
“We also spoke to workers at the site where the flooded area was, and they told us there was a natural water source underground.
“It worries us more now that the construction nearby has caused a lot of damage,” Ksharmini said, referring to the slope adjacent to their homes which saw the ground shift.
In November 2019, an uprooted rambutan tree fell on Ksharmini’s house, damaging the roof and some floor tiles.
Soil erosion started in 2018 during the rainy season, she said.
According to the longtime resident, the area is suffering from severe erosion due to the felling and uprooting of mature trees.
This was further aggravated by the construction work of the 15-story, 24-unit government quarters on an area that was a green reserve.
Ksharmini also added that in July 2014 Geosains Unit, Jabatan Mineral and Geosains Malaysia, Selangor/Wilayah Persekutuan confirmed the presence of a natural watercourse at Jalan Abdullah/Lengkok Abdullah, which is in the immediate vicinity of Federal Hill.
Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur (SKL) chairman Datuk M. Ali previously said the project – a 32-storey skyscraper – should not have been approved in the first place because no prior commitment had been made with residents of Jalan Abdullah.
Ali has also repeatedly stressed that it is not safe to build a skyscraper on Jalan Abdullah as there is a natural waterway in the area.
He had also warned that if the project was approved it could turn into another ‘Highland Towers’ incident, referring to the 1993 incident in Kuala Lumpur where one of the three buildings collapsed due to soil erosion and killed 48 people in the country’s worst. housing drama.
The project in question will take over land that was occupied by a car wash and a parking lot serving the customers of the restaurants in the area.
The land measures just under an acre and was originally occupied by three bungalows.
This plot of land is directly connected to an ongoing mega project by SP Setia, as Jalan Abdullah borders the former National Institutes of Health complex on Jalan Rumah Sakit Bangsar, which in turn borders Bukit Persekutuan.
In a sale and purchase agreement dated December 2018 provided by residents and viewed by malaysian mailit states that the said lands were acquired by Bangsar Rising Sdn Bhd for the 32-storey serviced apartment project.
Ksharmini resides in a house built in the 1950s, which her family has preserved over the years.
His house is just one of many other pre-war homes occupied by generations of families that could be destroyed or badly damaged if the tower project were approved.
Yet another concern
In addition to this, Ksharmini had again highlighted residents’ concerns over a proposed three-stage power station (PMU) that had been moved to a site that residents had previously protested against.
In May 2019, residents of Jalan Abdullah were informed of a plan to build a PMU adjacent to their homes.
After strong objections and with the intervention of Lembah Pantai MP and SKL, the PMU, as agreed by the parties concerned, was transferred to Jalan Bangsar/Jalan Rakyat instead.
“But in the amendments, we saw that they moved it back to the location originally proposed, and that’s right next to my house.
“We haven’t received any comments from DBKL on this yet,” Ksharmini said.
The PMU, as Tenaga Nasional Berhad residents informed in May 2019, if built next to the residential houses of Jalan Abdullah would occupy one acre of land and its height would be equivalent to a normal three storey house.
Following DBKL’s silence on the correction of the location published in the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (Alt 3) (Pt II) to be placed next to the houses of Jalan Abdullah instead of the previously promised facade of Jalan Bangsar/Jalan Rakyat, residents of Jalan Abdullah will display a protest banner demanding immediate correction of the plan.