Residents unconvinced despite developer’s assurance

By CHARLES FERNANDEZ

LAND clearing at a foothill, atop which sits the Venice Hill condominium, has residents worried for their safety.

Residents of both the condominium and the nearby Taman Mudun are speaking out against the upcoming project to build a retaining wall and for 76 town villas.

Recently, more than 30 residents’ associations in the area came together to protest against the developer bulldozing a narrow strip of trees on the hill to make way for the project.

The residents said that before the land clearing was carried out, only Tower 4 which was contructed on a steep slope looked in danger but now blocks 5, 7 and 8 were also sitting at the edge of the hill.

For the people of Taman Mudun, it is almost like history repeating itself.

Worried: Venice Hill Management Corporation Sdn Bhd director Philip Tan (right) pointing at the hill clearing. Blocks 4, 5, 7, and 8 stand at the edge of the hill. With Tan are other residents of Venice Hill and surrounding areas.

Fifteen years ago, they had voiced their fears about the Venice Hill condominium project when Tower 4 was being constructed on a steep slope near the houses.

The residents, especially those living in Jalan Petunia and Jalan Lantana, complained that rain would wash earth and debris on to their roads.

They were assured by the project consultant that the developer had taken all the safety measures, including spending an additional RM1.5mil to further strengthen the slopes around the project by carrying out soil nailing works using the modern technique of reinforced bars inserted into the slope.

Two years later, however, the previous state government decided that the houses were under threat and ordered the developer to build new houses on a different plot of land within Taman Mudun

Imminent danger: Two Garden Villa units taking shape at the foot of the hill while in the background are four units of the Venice Hill condominiums

On the present Garden Villas project, developer Mah Sing Properties Sdn Bhd said the company had obtained Ikram’s approval to proceed with the construction work and had appointed leading geotechnical firm, G&P Professionals Sdn Bhd, as consultants.

However, the residents are not convinced. Among them is Dr William Leon Chua, who is worried about the possibility of a landslide due to the rapid rate of the land-clearing work.

“Despite the assurances given by the developer, we still fear the worst. We want the authorities to step in and put a halt to any further development at the foothills,” he said.

Kajang Municipal Council’s (MPKj) Planning and Development Department and Engineer-ing Department had earlier stated that the surrounding areas were taken into consideration before the project approval was issued.

Mah Sing Properties chief operating officer Teoh Eng Cheng said there was no danger on the hillslopes although they looked barren.

“We are willing to hold a briefing for the concerned residents and explain, with the help of our geotechnical consultants, why there is no imminent danger at the hillslopes and why they should not be unduly worried over the land-clearing at the foothills,” he said.

He added that the residents’ association or the Venice Hill condominium Joint Manage-ment Board could contact him at 03-9221 6888.

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2010/7/15/central/6658555&sec=central

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