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The Star Metro Online

Story and photos by LIM CHIA YING

RESIDENTS of Jalan Kasawari 7 in Bandar Puchong Jaya, Puchong sighed with relief when they were finally allowed to move back into their homes one year after a landslide swept away their backyards.

In the Nov 17 incident, 14 houses were affected when a failing slope forced residents to flee their homes. They were later offered temporary accommodation at council homes owned by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council in Bandar Kinrara.

Some who were reluctant to take up the offer went to stay with their relatives for the duration of the repair works.

But the temporary homes were nothing like one’s own abode. This was evident in the relieved expressions and sentiments shared by residents who were recently interviewed about how they felt upon returning to their homes.

Repaired: The hillslope behind the backyards of homes in Jalan Kasawari 7 which has been repaired and lodged with spun piles that are said to create extra stability.

Husband-and-wife Loo Lick Key and Ivy Teh, who live in house number 31, were just thankful to be back in their familiar old home.

“No, we don’t have sleepless nights though,” laughed Teh when asked if she still feared for her life and safety whenever she goes to bed now.

“I think the foundation is stronger now, especially with the planting of spun piles (round, hollow piling that is stuffed with cement) into the ground,” chipped in Loo.

“Then there are multi-level earth slopes on the slope now where there were previously none and the top-most level has been given ground extension, and further away from our backyard.

“So I think all these measures have made us feel safer,” he said.

Teh thanked Kinrara assemblyman Dr Kow Cheong Wei who helped him and other residents throughout the one-year period and also the developer who had repainted the walls and repaired crack lines.

Thanks for your help: The residents telling Kow (right) how relieved they are to be back home.

The only downside, he lamented, was the invasion of termites inside his home since it has been left vacant for the past one year.

Resident Teow Pek Ying, who lives in house number 23, was doing her usual routine of washing and hanging clothes outside when the StarMetro approached her.

Teow said she moved back home on the first day of Hari Raya and was glad about it.

“My family could not get used to staying at the council home as it was stuffy and too small for us. So no matter what, this is where we belong and we will continue living here.

“Although most affected residents should have moved back by now, I know there are one or two who have opted to sell their units instead,” she said.

“The developer has actually done a good job by helping to re-polish our marble flooring and repaint our walls.” When asked if there were problems so far, she cited that communication was, as telephone lines were still down.

Kow said he had called the telecommunication station manager who promised he would help restore communication lines in two weeks.

He said all defects present on the slope had been rectified and repaired.

“The technical committee headed by the MPSJ has received the consultant’s report from Ikram (the Public Works Institute of Malaysia) and the council’s engineering department stating the slope was now safe and stable based on the monitoring period between April and October.

“But we’ll continue to do monitoring even if all residents have moved back into their homes. So far, three slope readings have been carried out since Oct 25 which is the day residents were allowed to move in,” said Kow.

Pilihan Megah Sdn Bhd manager Lee Thian Yew said the most important thing was that everyone could finally move in.

Kow said everything took a year and as an assemblyman, he realised that if developers, local authorities and government departments could play their roles, it was possible to settle big cases like landslides within a reasonable time frame.

“Having said this I wish to thank the Mentri Besar, and parties like the Public Works Department (JKR), Syabas, the MPSJ, and Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) for helping make this recovery possible.”

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2007/12/7/central/19653016&sec=central

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