The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, DBKL officials and representatives of Board of Engineers Malaysia herald a new era for hill slope development and safety on the 22nd September 2010.  The panacea against landslides caused by man’s encroachment on steep hill slopes will be the GP-WPKL 2020, the hill slope development guidelines that will apply to Kuala Lumpur.

Under this new hill slope development guidelines previous prohibition of development on class IV (≥35° gradient) slopes is removed and class III (≥25° to 35° gradient) slopes can be freely developed.

An independent checker was stated in the new guidelines as a second geotechnical expert (with five (5) years experience) paid for by the developer.  However, the Mayor also stated that IKRAM will be the “independent checker”.  So, what is the truth?

IKRAM have often been quoted by DBKL as “experts” with geotechnical expertise. It stretches imagination to suppose that it would be adequate to ensure stringent and safe geotechnical standards will be enforced.  Do visit IKRAM website and make your own assessment.  Was IKRAM not involved when Medan Damansara (Damansara 21) development was approved?

The Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) stated that they have established an Accredited Engineers membership (registration stated in 2007) for Geotechnical Experts.  A check on this revealed that there are only 13 accredited engineers.  I also note that none of them are associated with IKRAM.

DBKL also referred to other agencies, for expertise to ensure hill slope development will be safe was. One imagines it would be the Department of Public Works (JKR). JKR published a document called the National Slope Master Plan (Sept. 2009). JKR highlighted both the lack of adequately trained engineers and trainers. Let me just provide another two observations from the NSMP:

  • In general worldwide, the course curriculum on slope engineering for undergraduates is centred on slope stability analysis with minimal coverage on other important aspects of slope engineering.
  • Geotechnical engineers and geologists are normally trained on the job by in-house senior staff. Hence, the approaches adopted by different agencies and private entities such as the local authorities, Minerals and Geosciences Department (JMG), JKR and Kumpulan IKRAM also vary in the aspects of planning, approval, design, construction and maintenance of slopes, emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Given the above state of geotechnical skills availability, is it too much to question the sincerity of DBKL and its commitment to safety of residents affected by DBKL’s decision to give a charter to developer to attack hill slopes and destroy the already scarce green lung in KL?

See link below.

http://www.mmail.com.my/content/50227-hillside-residents-unconvinced-new-guidelines

I shall blog again on Geotechnical Engineering Office (Hong Kong) on how committed they are to making hill slope developments safe as opposed to the cavalier attitude of the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur. So, see you soon

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.

Kuala Lumpur residents should be very concerned. The High Court (Judge Aziah bte Ali) in agreeing with DBKL and Gasing Meridian to deny residents and NGOs the right to public hearing seem to have emboldened DBKL to announce the GP WPKL 2020, thereby giving a charter to developers to develop hills. What is happening to Local Agenda 21 in Kuala Lumpur?

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