Mudflow could have been prevented, says council

By May Robertson

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Flash floods in Taman Bukit Teratai could have been prevented if the developers of the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang (SUKE) expressway had a proper mitigation system, said the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

Following the mudflow on Tuesday, the council ordered SUKE to carry out desilting of drains in the area, clean up retention pools in the hillside and fix gabion walls meant to trap rain water on the hillslope.

The council’s engineering head Zafrul Fazry Fauzi said SUKE would be tasked to reevaluate their mitigation system by April 15 and once completed, their proposal would be inspected by an independent consultant.

“By April 17, desilting must be complete, but before that a proper mitigation plan must be ready,” said Zafrul.

He also confirmed the developer was slapped with a stop-work order on March 20, a day after the first of two floods struck the residential area.

Zafrul told Malay Mail the developer cannot carry out any land clearing works until they meet all conditions set by the council.

“During an inspection on April 7, we found the developer had not carried out proper mitigation works.

“We did not lift the stop work order as we want to ensure there would not be any untoward incidents.”

Zafrul said the council had urged the developer to speed up works but disaster struck first.

“The council had given the green light for land clearing works to begin in January after the council was satisfied the developer had met all conditions set by the council and other agencies.”

Meanwhile, Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas) project manager Abdul Halim Romli confirmed the mudflow was a result of works being carried out on top of the hill for the construction of the expressway.

“Measures are being carried out to upgrade the ponds at the site to ensure the problem is solved.

“We will make the three current ponds bigger, so that water flow from the top of the the hill can be controlled,” he added.

He said drains filled with debris had also contributed to flooding in the area.

“Contractors have been clearing the drains since Tuesday when the mudflow occured. We will ensure the drains are cleared,” he said.

Halim added Prolintas would be working together with developer Cergas Murni Sdn Bhd to clear debris and set up sandbags around the residential area to prevent rain water from entering.

Halim also assured that the 14 homes that had been affected by the flood would be able to claim for their losses.

The process, he said, would take up to six months at least.

“We have engaged with our insurance company to ensure victims get the claims they deserve,” he said. “Dialogues are being carried out between the insurance company and residents affected by the flood.”