Residents in Bangsar neighbourhood worry about landslides due to soil erosion

Soo Wern Jun
The rambutan tree that fell onto a resident’s house on Jalan Abdullah. — Picture courtesy of Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar residents

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — For the last two years, residents in Bangsar’s Jalan Abdullah neighbourhood have feared that the slope next to their houses will come crashing down on them each time it rains heavily.

Then, last month, after several storms, a rambutan tree fell onto one of the houses, damaging the roof and some floor tiles.

House owner T. Ksharmini said soil erosion started last year at about the same time, in October.

“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.

She added that her house which was built in the 1950s is a heritage property that her family has preserved 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 added.

Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur (SKL), a civil society group comprising a coalition of residents’ associations in the city, has warned of the possibility of massive landslides next to these Jalan Abdullah homes as a result of post-land clearing.

Aerial view of cleared land adjoining the Jalan Abdullah residential area. — Picture courtesy of Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar residents

The group’s adviser Datuk M. Ali said due to the absence of preventive measures, this has caused soil erosion.

He said the tree that damaged 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 space between the house and the metal hoarding of the development is only about 1.5 metres and according to Ali, “this is too near.”

“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.

The 12-storey apartment building completed by SP Setia Bhd earlier this year. — Picture courtesy of Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar residents

Ali has also urged Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to take action against those responsible for causing the soil erosion.

It was reported that in 2012, SP Setia Bhd acquired a parcel of land belonging to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a land swap deal.

The land parcel is connected to Bukit Persekutuan and adjoins Jalan Abdullah.

In return, SP Setia was to construct a new facility for the NIH in Setia Alam, Shah Alam, the developer’s flagship township.

The land swap deal also included the construction of a 12-storey apartment building which will serve as government quarters and a mega commercial development on the former NIH land.

While SP Setia received a development order for the 12-storey apartment building and NIH’s new complex, it has yet to receive one for its mega project. (The 12-storey apartment building has already been completed.)

When contacted, SP Setia replied, “No comment.”

Malay Mail has also reached out to DBKL for feedback on the matter but has yet to receive a response.

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