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By EDWARD R. HENRY
Monday February 25, 2013
PETALING Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has obtained a magistrate court order to demolish Sivan Temple in Bukit Gasing after a council report recommended it to be torn down as it posed an imminent danger to people’s lives and properties in the surrounding area.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said the temple building was in danger of collapsing as further rains could weaken the soil strength.
A slope failure could trigger a major landslide that would see earth coming down on Jalan 5/60, close to Fraser Towers apartments.
“Landslides had occurred of late. Now, Sivan Temple is in imminent danger of collapse.
“MBPJ has to take immediate steps to eliminate the danger,” she said.
The mayor stressed that the court order was requested “in the best interests of the people, to protect the lives of devotees, people living at Fraser Towers and the students of SMK Taman Petaling that is located below the apartments.
“The council’s legal department has served the court order to the chairman of the interim temple committee, T. Maharathan, and solicitors of Datin Seri Indrani Samy Vellu.
“Both parties have been informed about the demolition exercise.
“We respect the religious sensitivity and have given full responsibility to the temple committee to handle the demolition exercise.
“But before it is done, MBPJ’s Buildings Department must be briefed on the methods of demolition to ensure no untoward incidents,” she said.
She added that the seriousness of the Sivan Temple issue was brought up at the Selangor Economic Action Council and at the state exco meeting on Feb 13.
The MBPJ engineering department had taken into account Maharathan’s proposal to demolish the temple based on safety concerns and had agreed to it.
Alinah said the council would assist and was willing to offer advice if required.
“We assure the committee and devotees that the land on Bukit Gasing remains for the Hindu temple.
“For the new temple, building plans must be submitted and our officers will facilitate the process,” she said.
On Feb 1, StarMetro highlighted that the concrete roof of the Sivan Temple had tilted and more cracks were visible.
Sculptures of huge deities, a cow and the ornate tower on the roof of the two-level building had tilted and Maharathan had said he was worried the temple would collapse in view of the rainy spell.
After several landslips along Jalan 5/60, Alinah visited the area early this month and instituted immediate measures such as earthworks to strengthen the slopes in two areas where tarpaulin sheets were used to cover the bare terrain.
U-shaped box drains had also been constructed, costing about RM1mil.
Alinah said the council’s engineering department had suggested nail soiling as a long-term measure, along with building a network of slope drains that would cost MBPJ RM3.2mil.
02 February 2013
By SHEILA SRI PRIYA | firstname.lastname@example.org
DANGER: The council’s failure to monitor the area affected by the Bukit Gasing landslides is worrying
PETALING JAYA: RESIDENTS fear the lackadaisical attitude of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) towards the protection of the hill slope of Bukit Gasing may invite catastrophe.
The concern was conveyed by councillor Derek Fernandez during the council’s full board meeting on Thursday.
He said the council failed to play its role to ensure the hill slopes affected by the landslide on Jan 25 were well monitored, especially after the incident.
Fernandez said the area affected by the landslide, which is on private land, may still pose a danger to neighbouring areas if it’s not attended to.
“There were uprooted trees, and drains clogged with mud from the soil erosion.
“Tarpaulin sheets were also not placed on all areas of the affected site.
“Excuses about the slow tender process, and other reasons for not monitoring the situation are unacceptable.
“Disaster will strike when we least expect it. We are lucky to have been given warnings,” he said, adding that interim preventive measures, well supervised by those with the expertise, must be taken soon.
Fernandez also urged for more consideration for neighbouring residents such as those living at Fraser Tower.
He added that the landowners must be held responsible for the failure to safeguard their areas.
An earlier report by the Minerals and Geoscience Department Malaysia revealed that Bukit Gasing has the “Kenny Hills formation”.
This means the hill consists of rock and not reclaimed soil.
The findings were highlighted at the full board meeting.
Mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said recently she would make a site visit soon.
“All respective department heads must go to the site and see what needs to be done.
“If funds are lacking, inform me and the problem will be addressed,” she said.
A Streets visit after the full board meeting saw workers clearing the site.
Story and photos by EDWARD R. HENRY
Serious matter: Tengku Nazaruddin and Sharifah Nur Armina discussing landslip matters with Alinah in Jalan 5/60.
IMMEDIATE corrective measures have been ordered to curb the movement of mud and uprooted trees on the slope of Bukit Gasing along Jalan 5/60 leading to Fraser Towers, where six landslips have been noted.
Yesterday, at 8.25am, Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad paid a surprise visit to the area and was taken aback on seeing the extent of the mudflow at various locations from the top of the hill to Jalan 5/60.
“It is bad. The mudflow from the top of the hill looks like it has increased. Roots of mature trees are exposed and some have fallen onto other trees.
“It is a progressive slipping of the earth and it will continue with the evening rains. Appropriate short-term measures have been activated and long-term remedial measures must be taken to counter this grave problem,” she said.
Alinah had made a visit on Jan 9 and said that based on her observations from the first visit, the situation had worsened.
On an urgent note, she called the Selangor government to obtain special approval to engage contractors to remove the mud and fallen trees and to prune trees that are in danger of falling.
She said a geo-membrane would be used to cover the exposed slope as it would offer an effective, impervious barrier to water and run-off.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) complaints department director Tengku Nazaruddin Tengku Zainuddin, engineering department deputy director Abdul Shukor Mohamed Noor, private secretary Sharifah Nur Armina and junior officers from the council’s landscape department were also present during the visit.
On seeing the small crowd of MBPJ officers, Fraser Towers joint management body chairman Mohamed Kamar came forward to discuss the worrying situation with Alinah.
Alinah told the officers and residents that the landslip in Bukit Gasing area had been classified as a “priority matter”.
She made a quick decision to get the contractors to start work immediately and warned them not to dump the mud on the other side of the slope leading to SM Taman Petaling, as had happened last Sunday.
“Quick decisions must be made in matters of such a nature. We cannot allow it to endanger lives and property.
“We have Fraser Towers here, and below that, SM Taman Petaling and residential properties.
“I made the decision as landscape department director Zuraidah Sainan is not here,” said Alinah.
Alinah told StarMetro that she would meet with Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib to discuss development projects on Bukit Gasing’s Kuala Lumpur border, which are believed to have caused the soil movement.
“We must see what can be done to minimise the impact on our side of Bukit Gasing and to avert more landslips in the future,” she said.
Mohamed said he and the residents were glad to see Alinah providing immediate solutions to address the landslip.
“We want the council to maintain the hill.
“Our residents want the council to institute effective preventive measures and MBPJ must install equipment to monitor the movement of soil.
“In addition, no development must be allowed on the slope as it will be a recipe for disaster,” he said.