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Bukit Gasing Landslide – the day after (7th January 2011)

Video by Mircea Tataru

By Noel Achariam

PETALING JAYA: Residents of Bukit Gasing are living in fear after a landslide occurred near their homes on Thursday morning.

The 150m landslide occurred on the north-east corner of Sivan Temple on Bukit Gasing.

Gasing Joint Action Committee coordinator Gary Yeoh said he was shocked to hear about the landslide from a neighbour.
“The landslide had brought down part of the hillslope next to the temple. The 150m drop was shocking.

“We’re counting our blessings that the landslide did not hit the water tank at the bottom of the reservoir,” he said.

Yeoh said the action committee was concerned over the stability of the hillslope when extension works on the temple started in 2006. There was a landslide on the hill facing Fraser Towers in March 2007.
“We now live in fear and are worried every time there is a heavy downpour. This landslide demonstrates why development should not be allowed on Bukit Gasing,” he said.

“Our fears of soil and slope disturbance on the hillslopes around the temple have been justified with this landslide incident,” he said.

Yeoh hoped Bukit Gasing would not be another case of the Highland Towers or Bukit Antarabangsa disasters.

The landslide that occurred next to temple on Bukit Gasing. — Picture by PC Lim

Fraser Tower resident Mohamed Kamar Mohamed said stern action needed to be taken to prevent another landslide.

“Authorities need to take action to ensure the lives of people here are protected,” he said.

Petaling Jaya councillor Derek Fernandez said the recent landslide showed precisely why the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had not allowed the temple to be opened to the public.

“The temple will not be opened until Ikram has certified that the area where the landslide occurred is safe,” he said.

Fernandez said that this was a powerful reminder to those who are adamant about developing Bukit Gasing.

“MBPJ will not compromise public safety under any circumstances. We will take caution and not bow to pressures,” he said.

Fernandez also issued a warning to Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd, which is proposing to develop the Sanctuary Ridge Kuala Lumpur City project comprising 70 bungalows on a 15.5ha site on Bukit Gasing.

“Let this incident be a warning that no development should take place on Bukit Gasing,” he said.

Bukit Gasing state assemblyman Edward Lee said the safety of temple devotees and residents in the area must be protected.

“MBPJ has instructed Ikram to present a report on the landslide and the development at the temple.

“The fate of the temple will be decided by MBPJ.

“If Ikram gives the go-ahead then there must be strict conditions applied for the safety of all.

“If it says no, then we will have to sit down with the temple committee and decide on the next course of action,” he said.

Lee said it was the responsibility of the temple committee to ensure the safety of its devotees.

Today, 6th January 2011, another landslide was discovered on the hill slope just below Sivan Temple. Pictures and a youtube video of the landslide were kindly sent to us by a concerned resident of the area that happen to be out there in the morning.

As you will see from the pictures, the landslide almost reached the pump station at the bottom of the hill slope. The JAC for Bukit Gasing had been concerned when extension to the Sivan Temple started in 2006 and there was a landslide on the hill slopes facing Fraser Towers in March 2007. Even at that stage residents in the area were worried about the soil and slope disturbance on the hill slopes around the temple. Sadly, the current landslide confirms the validity of their fears.

Will DBKL recognize that they will put lives at risk by approving developments on steep hill slopes of Bukit Gasing?

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With our frequent heavy rain, disturbing the natural vegetation around Bukit Gasing has time and time again caused landslides and landslips. In addition to the Sivan Temple of March 2007, we have had landslides at the Taman Pendidakan Bukit Gasing (April 2008), slope damage at pump station (in 2008) and Sri Maha Kaliamman Temple (June 2010).

Must lives be lost again before DBKL gets real about putting people first?

Click here for Youtube video of landslide at Bukit Gasing

Gary Yeoh

JAC for Bukit Gasing

More Photos here…

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