Composite photo by EYKhoo for SaveBukitGasing

Composite photo by EYKhoo for SaveBukitGasing

Writer: Gan Pei Ling
Published: Fri, 09 Mar 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: A landslip only days after the appellate court ruled against residents’ call for a public hearing on a hillside development at Bukit Gasing is raising fears of another Bukit Antarabangsa.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened after heavy rain, the authorities must explain to us what’s going on,” concerned resident Agnes Tan told Selangor Times yesterday.

Residents campaigning to halt the development suffered a major blow on Tuesday when the Court of Appeal ruled against their demands in a 2-1 majority verdict.

It decided that a public hearing was not required under the Federal Territory (Planning) Act 1982 as the project did not involve a change in land use or an increase in population density.

Tan said they discovered the landslip early yesterday morning.

She said a similar incident occurred at almost the same spot, on the hill overlooking Jalan 1/132 , shortly after Chinese New Year.

“We don’t know whether there are more further in (the construction site),” said the homemaker who has lived there for six years.

She added that her neighbours across the road, whose homes were directly below the project site, were even more worried.

Despite sustained public opposition since 2005, developer Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd commenced earthworks on the Sanctuary Ridge Kuala Lumpur City project last August.

It had appointed consultant Ikram Engineering Services Sdn Bhd to monitor the construction of 69 bungalows on the 15ha land, which is supposed to put in place mitigation measures to ensure slope stability.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail defended City Hall’s (DBKL) approval of the project on Monday, adding the site belonged to the developer and DBKL would have to spend RM135 million if it were to acquire the land to gazette as a green lung.

He said DBKL had already applied to gazette the neighbouring 52.6ha public land as a green lung in December 2010.

Residents have long lobbied City Hall for a public hearing on the low-density project as it is located on the steep slopes of Bukit Gasing.

On Sunday, around 100 residents had gathered at Jalan 1/132 to urge DBKL to make public the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the proposed development.

“We’re not against development. If they can convince us the project is safe, we won’t be against it,” said Joint Action Group for Bukit Gasing committee member and resident of Fraser Towers Mohamed Kamar Mohamed.

Another committee member and resident of Maxwell Towers, Gary Yeoh, had pointed out that Bukit Gasing has a history of landslides.

“We don’t want to become the next Bukit Antarabangsa,” he said last Sunday, in reference to the landslide in Ampang which claimed the lives of five and destroyed 40 bungalows in 2008.

Lembah Pantai member of Parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar, who was present at the site yesterday and on Sunday, called on DBKL to release the project’s EIA as well.

Selangor Times