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Oleh Noor Jaafar dan Siti Nurazlinee Azmi
Harian Metro

KUALA LUMPUR: Kebimbangan penduduk di sekitar Bukit Gasing mengenai cadangan pemilik tanah, Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd membina 142 unit banglo di kawasan berkenaan terjawab apabila Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Ruslin Hassan, mengumumkan projek itu setakat ini belum diluluskan Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL).

Ruslin berkata, sebelum meluluskan projek pembangunan di kawasan seluas 15.2 hektar di Bukit Gasing, DBKL perlu mengambil kira pandangan semua pihak, termasuk Jawatankuasa Teknikal Perancangan dan Jawatankuasa Kawasan Sensitif Alam Sekitar Wilayah Persekutuan (JPPKSAS) yang dipengerusikan Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan.

Katanya, jawatankuasa itu membabitkan Jabatan Perancang Bandar, Jabatan Kerja Awam, Jabatan Pelan Induk dan Unit Perlindungan Alam Sekitar serta Jabatan Kesihatan DBKL, Jabatan Alam Sekitar Wilayah Persekutuan (WP), Jabatan Mineral dan Geosains Selangor dan WP, Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran WP, Jabatan Tanah dan Galian, Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan, Jabatan Kerja Raya, Kumpulan Ikram, Pusat Penyelidikan Tanah Runtuh Negara (NASEC) dan Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

Beliau berkata, permohonan Gasing Meridian itu dikaji dengan teliti oleh DBKL berdasar aspek perancangan, kejuruteraan, keselamatan, pencemaran, saliran dan banjir serta kesejahteraan penduduk di kawasan berdekatan.

“Maklumat teknikal dalam proses dihantar dan dijangka semua maklumat dikumpulkan sebelum JPPKSAS membuat keputusan untuk dipertimbangkan DBKL. Keputusan permohonan itu hanya akan diketahui apabila semua maklumat teknikal mendapat pertimbangan JPPKSAS,” katanya pada sidang media di sini, semalam.

Katanya, projek di utara Taman Gasing Indah dalam kawasan Kuala Lumpur yang bersempadan dengan Petaling Jaya itu kini hanya di peringkat kerja ujian tanah di kawasan kecil yang tidak memerlukan kebenaran DBKL.

“Tapak yang dirujuk itu diluluskan pelan susun aturnya oleh Jabatan Perancangan Bandar dan Desa Selangor pada awal 1970-an untuk membina 71 lot banglo dan surat hak milik tanah berasingan juga dikeluarkan Pejabat Tanah Wilayah Persekutuan pada 1977.

“Pada 1996 pemilik tanah berkenaan mengemukakan permohonan untuk mendapat kebenaran kerja tanah dan membina jalan raya bagi membina rumah mengikut geran hak milik tanah yang dikeluarkan itu,” katanya.

Bungalow Development At Bukit Gasing Yet To Get DBKL’s Nod
November 23, 2006 19:11 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Bernama) — The plan to develop 142 bungalow lots on a 15.2-hectare site in Bukit Gasing here, causing public uproar, has yet to be approved by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ruslin Hasan said a decision on the application for the development would only be made after DBKL’s Sensitive Areas Environment Committee had considered all the technical information at hand.

He said the committee was in the midst of arranging a meeting on the matter that would be chaired by the secretary-general of the Federal Territories Ministry.

“The feedback received will then be presented to me so that a decision can be made based on existing guidelines,” he told reporters here Thursday.

He said the technical information needed was in the process of being gathered and the whole exercise was expected to be completed in a month.

Ruslin said that development work by Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd in Taman Gasing Indah, which borders Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, only involved soil tests.

“The work done covers only a small area and as such does not need any approval,” he added.

The mayor said the application would be rejected if studies showed that the area had no granite but only stony and sandy soil and shale, which would make piling work difficult.

He added that DBKL was concerned about development in hilly areas and on slopes as it was against government policy and to avoid tragedies.

The design plan for the development of the 142 bungalow lots was approved by the Selangor Urban and Rural Development Department in the early 1970’s. The initial plan was for the building of 71 lots of bungalows of 25,000 sq ft in size each.

“However, on May 25, 2005, the land owner presented a new design plan to increase the number of lots from 71 to 142,” Ruslin said. (Bernama)

Mayor: No project approved for Gasing
The Star, November 24, 2006
By BAVANI M.(bavanim@thetar.com.my)

KUALA LUMPUR City Hall has confirmed that they have not approved any development order to develop a privately owned land by Tetuan Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd (previously known as Sanctuary Gasing).

Datuk Bandar Ruslin Hasan clarified that no decision had been made about the land though he confirmed that City Hall had received an application for development from the developer in 1996.

“We have looked into the safety, geotechnical and environmental details as well as sought the people’s views and we told the developer that we will only approve if certain guidelines were followed including implementing a phase-by-phase development.

“But they (the developer) did not agree and had submitted an appeal which was rejected,” Ruslin said.

According to Ruslin such applications would have to go through a lengthy process under the scrutiny of a technical sub-committee.

Requirements include providing a space for recreation, ensuring that there’s more than one road leading into and out of the neighbourhood; and adhering to other environmental factors.

“With the findings of the sub-committee, City Hall and the Federal Territories Ministry will then confer with the FT Committee for Sensitive Environment or JPPKSAS (Jawatankuasa Kawasan Sensitif Alam Sekitar Wilayah Persekutuan) whose members comprise City Hall, Department of Environment, the Drainage and Irrigation Department, the Land Office, Public Works Institute of Malaysia (Ikram) and other relevant organisations.

“Only when all the findings are reported will the committee look into the feasibility of developing the land,” he said, adding that a meeting would most likely be held in mid December.

Ruslin said soil testing on the land was required to ensure that the area would be able to withstand development.

“We need to test the soil to look at the structure of the land before any decision is made,” he said.

“The developer has the right to apply to develop the land but at the end of the day we will look into every aspect and make a decision,” he added when commenting on the protest staged by residents in Bukit Gasing regarding slope tests carried out by the developer on the land.

Residents were angry that a portion of the hill slope was cleared and that the landowner had covered up the clearing with patches of grass and newly planted banana trees.

The Joint Action Committee for Bukit Gasing wanted more information about the land, the applications and the status of application.

Its chairman Derek Fernandez had said that such information should be made available to the public. (End)

Bukit Gasing project yet to be approved, says DBKL
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz, Nov 23, malaysiakini.com

A controversial bungalow project on Bukit Gasing may still be approved, said Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Mayor Ruslin Hassan, although 49% of the 15-hectare land consists of slopes measuring 26-35 degrees or higher.

Ruslin disclosed these figures, provided by geotechnical experts engaged by the landowner Tetuan Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd, at a press conference at the DBKL buiding on Jalan Raja Laut this morning.

Forty-six percent of the land slated for development by Gasing Meridian slopes between 26-35 degrees, while 2.8 percent slopes 35 degrees or higher, said Ruslin.

While 37.1% of the land slopes between 16-25 degrees, only 13.6% has a gradient of 15 degrees or less, he added.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two meetings, two areas, hence too confusing
By K.W. MAK
November 23, 2006 | The Star

THE Joint Action Committee for Bukit Gasing said the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique’s statement that it had, “basically agreed to developments planned…” were taken out of context.

“The areas that the minister is referring to is DBKL-owned land,” said committee chairman Derek Fernandez, in response to Star Metro article (Minister: We’ll study details first, then decide) yesterday.

“There were two meetings with the minister. The first (on April 23) was to gazette the land owned by DBKL as a green lung while the second (on April 25) was for the development of the privately-owned land by Sanctuary Gasing,” said Fernandez.

“The second meeting was where we were told that City Hall would not approve application of Sanctuary Gasing to develop the land,” said Fernandez.

Joint Action Committee organiser Victor Oorjitham, who was with Fernandez, Section 5 Residents Association president Edward Lee and Bukit Gasing assembylman Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng at the meeting, said Zulhasnan’s statement about rivers and such were in reference to the first meeting.

“There is no river on Sanctuary Gasing’s land and our committee, from the very beginning, has maintained that there should be no development of any type on this land which is next to a densely populated area,” said Oorjitham.

“The minister was given a copy of a press statement issued by City Hall mayor Datuk Ruslin Hassan last year that the authorities do not discount the possibility of taking back land sold to the developer so that it can be gazetted as a green lung.”

Fernandez said the committee would, in the meantime, send out letters to City Hall, the Federal Territories Ministry and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry for details of the project.

“We want the particulars and details of the land, the applications (or if there is one) and the status of the application,” said Fernandez.

“We will wait till the seven days expire and then we will decide what to do next. All this information should not be hidden from public scrutiny.” (end)

Minister: We’ll study details first, then decide
The Star, November 22, 2006

THE Federal Territories Ministry will take into consideration the strong protest of the Bukit Gasing Joint Action Committee over plans to develop part of Bukit Gasing.

Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique said application of the development would be studied extensively by a land sensitivity committee that was made up of professionals in the government.

He said the application was still at City Hall and he was yet to be informed about the details to the proposed development.

Zulhasnan said he had received numerous complaint letters from the joint action committee and had also met the committee two months ago to discuss its concerns about the proposed development for the Kuala Lumpur side of Bukit Gasing.

“There is a need to develop the area. The committee basically agrees to developments planned but they suggest that areas where the soil is sensitive should be spared, like areas near the river,” Zulhasnan told reporters at a press conference held during a Hari Raya Open House at Setiawangsa.

“We will have to look at both the developer’s application and the committee’s proposals. All relevant aspects will be studied in detail by the land sensitivity committee,” he added.

The minister said once the study had been completed, the ministry would make a final decision on how many percent of the hill area would be approved for development. (End)

Groups gather to protest development

The Star, November 22, 2006
Story and photos by K.W. MAK

THE clearing of a slope by a developer to do soil tests on a portion of Bukit Gasing had residents from surrounding areas gathering to protest any sort of development in the area.

Residents said they were upset that a portion of the hill slope was cleared on Nov 7 and that the landowner, Gasing Sanctuary Sdn Bhd, had recently covered up the clearing with patches of grass and newly planted banana trees.

The hill is mainly sandstone and shale, which is prone to soil erosion thus residents are worried that should the vegetation on the hill be disturbed, it could destabilise a water reservoir belonging to Syabas located on top of the hill.

Some 500 residents gathered at the Jalan 5/58 playground at 4.30pm on Sunday and staged a protest, complete with placards and banners to show their displeasure.

Bukit Gasing Joint Action Committee organiser Victor Oorjitham had earlier led the residents with loud chants of “Save Bukit Gasing!”

Oorjitham said residents had written to the developer and City Hall to find out more about the company and the development proposed on the land.

“Their reply was always the same, that they have not completed their soil tests,” he said.

The Joint Action Committee represents three Bukit Gasing residents associations, the All PJ Pro Action Committee, World Wide Fund for Nature, Malaysian Nature Society and Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia

“We are worried because the land they are proposing to develop has a gradient of more than 15° and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid had said recently that there should be no development on any slope with a gradient more than that.

“The land owned by Gasing Sanctuary is more than 15° with some areas, more than 70°,” said Oorjitham.

He said the residents were unaware if any plans to develop the private property had been approved and the lack of information from the developer and City Hall had prompted the residents to stage the protest.

Section 5 Residents Association legal advisor Derek Fernandez said that any plan to develop the hill slope should be made public as most residents could no longer believe that City Hall had the residents’ interest at heart.

“The recent ruling on the Highland Towers case has made the local authority immune to liability resulting from any action that they may take, hence giving us no confidence that the council would do their job right,” he said.

“We do not want another incident (like in the case of the Highland Tower tragedy).’’

Bukit Gasing assemblyman Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng gave residents some hope.

He said the people had a right to be concerned of any impending development and that he would support his constituents in protesting any such development. (End)

“Stop Greed, Save Bukit Gasing, Save Lives”

Featuring Derek Fernandez, Victor Oorjitham, YB Dr. Lim Thuan Seng and residents living in the vicinity of Bukit Gasing.

 

Save lives by leaving Bukit Gasing alone
PJ Resident
Malaysiakini.com, Nov 20, 06 3:55pm

Once again the ugly face of corporate greed is rearing its head in Bukit Gasing.

Trees have been felled and a path is created to conduct soils test within the Kuala Lumpur side of Bukit Gasing. Attempts to question this activity has been met with hostile reactions and any attempts to take photos of the activities taking place faced similar repercussions.

Haven’t we have had enough lives lost due to development on hillsides slopes? Have we already forgotten the lives lost in the Highland Towers incident? Have the blood stains from this incident been washed off the hands of those responsible? Are they able to sleep well at night in their expensive mansions?

Are those in the agencies responsible able to look at themselves in the mirror with their conscience intact? Can’t you feel the wailing of a mother cry for her lost loved ones? Can’t you see the teardrops filling the eyes of the father every time he talks about his family tragically killed in this tragedy?

Why do we still allow hillside development to take place? Has greed and arrogance become the way of the Malaysian society? Is anyone aware of the risks involved in the proposed building of 140 luxury bungalow lots on the KL side of Bukit Gasing? The mayor of KL has given his assurance that there will be no development there. Even the prime minister has also said that rules must be strictly followed for any hillside development.

For your readers information, there is a huge reservoir on the top of Bukit Gasing. Any structural damage caused by development in Bukit Gasing will bring down millions of gallons of water and cause massive destruction to the following areas – Gasing Indah, Pantai Dalam, Petaling Garden, Gasing Heights and three condominium blocks. Almost 20,000 people or more live here. Lives are being put at risk just for the greed of some unscrupulous company wanting to build luxury bungalows on a hill top. Where does it all end?

To make things worse, any, if not all, attempts to get any written understanding from KL City Hall (DBKL) on this matter has fallen on deaf ears. There is a deafening silence from the outgoing mayor. Has he signed the development order for the contractor and is therefore unable to retract his position? This would explain why the contractor is able to chop down trees and conduct various activities there at present.

Once again the promise for transparent governance is rhetoric at best. We residents, however, call for an open policy towards this development from an engineering standpoint so that independent and fair studies can be done to show what sort of development can be allowed at Bukit Gasing. Past studies have been done and the conclusions have been consistent – Bukit Gasing is not safe for any type of development. Has Bukit Gasing changed so much that there can be development done there now?

Please stop putting people’s lives at risk. Please stop all development on Bukit Gasing once and for all. Act now to save lives in the future. (end)

Bukit Gasing battle-cry: On to KL City Hall
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz
Malaysiakini.com, Nov 20, 06 6:54pm

Residents of Bukit Gasing in Kuala Lumpur will take their dissatisfaction direct to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) if it maintains its silence over a bungalow development project.

Maxwell Towers’ Owners Association chairperson Victor Oorjitham said DBKL has not responded to numerous letters sent to KL mayor Ruslin Hasan since Sept 23, 2005, when Ruslin last met the residents over the matter.

“It was unanimously agreed by the residents that, if there was no response within a reasonable amount of time, we will organise a demonstration at the DBKL (building in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur),” Oorjitham said when contacted today.

About 300 residents from Maxwell, Fraser, and Cameron towers and Petaling Gardens yesterday demonstrated at Gasing Indah in Section 5, Petaling Jaya, against implementation of the housing project.

Some 5,000 residents in the area believe that their lives will be endangered and that the project will adversely affect the ecology and environment of Bukit Gasing.

Citing a study by Universiti Malaya geologists and a second one by the Geological Society of Malaysia, Oorjitham said both had concluded that the southern part of Bukit Gasing was unsafe to build on because of the predominance of shale and sand in the soil composition.

Ruslin had, at the meeting, promised that no development would take place in the area. Similar assurances have been made since by officials of the Federal Territories Ministry, said Oorjitham.

Earlier applications for development projects on Bukit Gasing had been rejected by previous mayor Kamaruzzaman Shariff in 1996, due to the dangers involved, Oorjitham said.

Two weeks ago, however, residents discovered that suspicious drilling activities were being conducted on Bukit Gasing.

Their fears were confirmed, said Oorjitham, when residents confronted workers conducting the tests and found out that soil-tests were being done for a housing project.

‘Grim picture’

Section 5 Residents Association chairperson Edward Lee said these fears were substantiated recently by a geologist who cited potential disaster should development be allowed on Bukit Gasing.

“In his presentation to us, the consultant gave us a very grim picture of the possible disaster that could take place,” said Lee.

Oorjitham quoted an Oct 6 announcement by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Azmi Khalid that no development would be allowed on hill slopes with a gradient exceeding 15 degrees.

Residents also fear the impact of further development on Bukit Gasing, on top of which sits a 21 million gallon reservoir, said Oorjitham.

“In the event of a subsidence of soil due to development works, there could be a tremendous tragedy (if the reservoir collapses),” said Oorjitham.

A spokesperson for DBKL said the mayor would not be making statements on the matter until City Hall’s report on the matter is completed and submitted to Federal Territories Minister Zulhasnan Rafique. (end)

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