Sunday, January 6, 2013

Same Old Story

'In the aftermath of the shocking wall collapse in the posh Bukit Setiawangsa ... DBKL will go in search of all such structures to draw up a hazard map.'  ...Was it really that shocking the wall collapsed - it was so steep and massive!  This should remind us of the June 2011 tragedy in Hulu Langat, and the on going concern of residents across the country.

I pulled out a few highlights from our earlier blog entry, after the June 2011 tragedy. 

From information gathered in the newspapers an estimated 58 housing estates in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor situated in hilly areas face the risk of landslides, based on a Public Works Department (PWD) study last year, in 2010. 

According to the papers, the study shows that all 58 housing estates are situated within four local council areas, namely Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

The highest number of areas at risk, 39, are listed under MPAJ.  Among the areas sited as highest risk include Bukit Antarabangsa, Taman Melawati, Kampung Pasir, Taman Wangsa Ukay, Ukay Heights, Ukay Perdana, Kampung Tengah, Taman Keramat and Sering Ukay.

Based on the disappointing outcome of the Highland Tower court case, it was re-affirmed, in court, that the local councils cannot be held liable for any tragedy that may result from the council’s approvals of any development.
What has happened to these high risk areas identified back in 2010, and where are they exactly? Will the new studies to be drawn up by the government utilize these existing studies and information?  Why do we keep conducting studies to find a solution only after another crisis has taken place?

It is no wonder residents are against developments such as the KL Outer Ring Road and other hill slope developments, especially those that are ‘up-slope’ of existing homes and neighborhoods.

It is unfair to keep telling us that current technology is safe, when ‘current technology’ that was used 10 years ago is now declared to be unsafe, at the fault of no one. What real changes are being made to rectify these persistent problems, to ensure the safety of the community and the environment?

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