Lembah Pantai MP asks DBKL to clarify news reports of luxe condo next to Bangsar flood retention pond

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — City Hall (DBKL) should make it clear if approval was granted for the construction of a new high-end condominium in Lorong Maarof, Bangsar next to a flood retention pond, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said today.

The PKR lawmaker expressed surprise and questioned the decision, saying the retention pond on Lorong Maarof is not among six that had been earmarked for development as highlighted in the recent Auditor-General’s Report.

“It is true that the reservoir in Lorong Maarof often overflowed when it rained heavily in the past,” he said in a Facebook post.

He related that he had personally seen the road damage caused by the overflow on Lorong Maarof, which in turn caused flooding in Taman Bangsar.

“Therefore, DBKL needs to give a full explanation on this matter. I find it hard to accept that such a small area can or has been given approval for large development purposes.

“Based on a search on Online Mapping PBRKL2020 as of this morning, the location (Lot 481350) appears to be used as ‘Infrastructure & Utilities’. Therefore, it is very strange when it was reported that this will become a luxury condominium.

“My position in this case is similar to the issue of Batu 4 1/2 Flood Reservoir in Jalan Klang Lama, that is Kuala Lumpur needs well-functioning flood reservoirs.

“It's not only that all the existing reservoirs need to be maintained, I expect that we need more reservoir capacity than we have now, especially when there is a climate crisis like we are witnessing currently,” he added.

He said that the local authority should inform residents of what measures are being taken to deal with flash floods that have been on the rise in recent years.

He said current methods such as improving drainage and flood reservoirs in certain areas may only be a temporary solution and asked DBKL to elaborate on the long-term measures for the national capital.

He also highlighted that time is running short to prepare for the next rainy season.

“It's not about preparing umbrellas, but we must also provide reservoirs and better drainage before the downpour,” he said.

The Vibes yesterday quoted an unnamed DBKL source claiming that the planned development would be on the edge of the pond, which will be upgraded to become enclosed.

“The retention pond will stay, DBKL does not have plans to close the pond.

“The development will not be on the pond itself, but on the surrounding areas," the anonymous source was reported saying.

The news portal reported that the permissible density of the area had also been increased from 400 persons per acre to 1,600, and that DBKL had already held discussions and acquired approval from residents in surrounding areas in accordance with Rule 5 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982.

The Vibes reported that a conditional approval was granted to development firm Sri Haneco Sdn Bhd on April 22, for land lot numbers 481349 and 481350, with the details listed under the Housing and Local Government Ministry's One Stop Centre portal.

The report said that the conditional development approval was accorded for what is understood to be two phases of the project.