Already ‘living in fear’, residents urge DBKL to act swiftly as second landslide hits Federal Hill

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Property damage from the landslide that took place along Jalan Lingkungan Negri Sembilan, Federal Hills October 23, 2021. — Picture by Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association
Property damage from the landslide that took place along Jalan Lingkungan Negri Sembilan, Federal Hills October 23, 2021. — Picture by Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Yet another landslide has occurred on Linkungan Negri Sembilan (LNS) in Federal Hill here, this time affecting another neighbourhood on Jalan Limau Manis that was connected.

According to Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur (SKL) chairman Datuk M. Ali, the latest landslide took place after frequent heavy rains, affecting one of the houses on Lorong Limau Manis Dua, Bangsar Park.

“Even before the landslide had taken place, residents in this area had been living in fear of such an incident which could occur due to low maintenance of the drain and retention wall above at LNS.

“The said resident’s house may not be damaged, but there was damage to the structure of the house compound as the house is located right next to the landslide site,” said Ali.

Although only one resident’s home was affected this time, Ali said the landslide could have been prevented if the authorities in charge — Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) — had performed the required checks and maintenance works to the infrastructure of Federal Hill or currently known as Bukit Persekutuan.

“(On November 9) we were called for a meeting where we were briefed on the way forward by IKRAM (Institute of Public Works Malaysia) and DBKL.

“At this meeting itself, we had highlighted and shared pictures on the deteriorating condition of several other stretches of LNS where cavities were developing.

“We were then informed that IKRAM had been commissioned to check the entire area for remedial action to be taken urgently,” said Ali.

Ali said it has been close to two months since the first landslide on October 23, yet no significant remedial action was undertaken between then and the second landslide on December 19.

“We do understand that there are procedures and processes to go through, but if it involves life and property; and where urgent or immediate action is required, we are certain DBKL and all other authorities have access to fast track the approval processes (for prevention efforts).

“But for DBKL to sit on such emergency requirements for well over two months is definitely questionable,” he said.

He added that the BBRAYA RA was fully aware that DBKL’s contractor has moved in recently to rectify the drainage system at the new LNS stretch, and consequently wanted DBKL’s clarification on the company’s qualifications to perform the work.

“If so, how was that such a serious condition — movement of earth was not sensed or noticed and DBKL alerted of potential landslide, by the said contractor?” said Ali.

Despite SKL and BBRAYA RA highlighting the large and deep cavities on the road surface, the areas with cavities were merely resurfaced at the initial stage.

“Whenever we voice this, there will be some patchwork done, but patchwork is not sufficient.

“Immediate remedial action should have been taken to commence restoration works.

“That is why on the afternoon of December 18, one of the many sections with deep lengthy cavities, which we had earlier identified to DBKL had collapsed and brought down part of LNS as well as. part of a nearby house,” he said.

“However, the erosion was of great concern as a lot of earth has been washed off, posing danger to the house at LNS which is very close to the incident site.

“Upon looking at the site, we had informally appealed to the owner of the premises to shift out until DBKL gets some mitigating measures in place,” he said.

“They must not wait for a disaster to happen”

Acting on residents’ concerns and worries, Ali and several others from the SKL and BBRAYA had on December 19 surveyed the LNS area and found cavities at several more stretches of the road.

“They must not wait for a disaster to happen and then only move in to rectify the shortcoming.

“It is important for DBKL to immediately mount an effective and thorough site inspection or survey and take appropriate urgent action.

“Datuk Bandar, please turun pandang and let’s visit the affected sites as well as look at the surrounding areas in totality,” said Ali.

On October 23, following heavy rain, a landslide hit LNS, Bukit Persekutuan, causing soil to wash down on several houses on Jalan Limau Purut.

In view of the safety concern, the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) had advised the affected residents at Jalan Limau Purut to evacuate their homes temporarily.

Residents have yet to receive a firm confirmation on when they can return to their respective homes.

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