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By EDWARD R. HENRY
MOST of the residents living in Jalan Gasing’s Fraser Towers, Petaling Jaya want the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to demolish the nearby Sivan Temple based on the council’s report, which states that the building was unsafe.
The report also said the building could come crashing down during a downpour.
The residents are afraid of the danger it poses to their lives and properties, as well as SMK (P) Taman Petaling, also in Section 5. The school is a stone’s throw away from the apartments.
Fraser Towers Joint Management Body chairman M. Kamar said the steep slope, sparse vegetation, water-logged conditions and developments on the hill were some of the factors that were worrying them.
“Several landslips at Bukit Gasing brought down trees and rocks while a river of mud flowed down to Jalan 5/60 recently. It is a disaster waiting to happen.
“The landslips are also an indication of the dangerous condition of the area,” said Kamar.
MBPJ had determined that the temple building was unsafe and should be demolished. The structure has large cracks and the roof is tilted.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad had made several visits to the area 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 are being constructed, costing RM1mil in total.
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 RM3.2mil.
Kamar said although residents appreciated Alinah’s prompt action, the measures instituted were not enough.
They want earth movement sensors brought in to monitor the shift in soil and water-log in order for proactive measures to be taken.
“We also want the demolition of Sivan Temple to be carried out in a professional manner,” he said.
Petaling Jaya Selatan (PJS) Wanita MCA division deputy chief Datin Wong Fong Leng, who visited the landslip site in Jalan 5/60 on Thursday evening, said more efforts were needed to strengthen the slope.
“Motion sensors must be brought in to monitor soil movement but this has not been done.
“Work to build gabion walls has also not begun. Work is being carried out at a snail’s pace,” said Wong.
She added that the council should bring in geo-technical engineers to review the terrain and find the best method to drain rainwater effectively.
On Feb 25, StarMetro reported Alinah as saying that the temple structure was in danger of collapsing as further rains could weaken its soil strength.
She said the council had obtained a court order to demolish the temple in the best interest of the people — to protect the lives of devotees, people living at Fraser Towers and the school’s students.
It was also reported that Sivan Temple interim committee chairman T. Maharathan had applied to MBPJ for the building to be demolished urgently.
“Our consultant, Materials Testing Laboratory Sdn Bhd, carried out a thorough check on the structure and gave us four volumes of the Dilapidation Survey report which recommended that the temple be demolished,” he said.
Maharathan has made the report available to MBPJ and the council had given the committee the nod to bring in their own contractors to carry out the temple’s demolition.
FRASER Towers’ chief of security services, John Gyan Bahadur, survived a close call in a landslip incident while removing fallen trees along Jalan 5/60 in Bukit Gasing a month ago. He is glad to be alive to tell his story.
He said it began to rain around 6am on Jan 25.
“I heard loud crashing sounds and found that a number of trees had fallen onto the road, a few hundred metres from the apartments’ security post.
“I and another security personnel went out to cut the branches and move the trees to the side of the road. It was 7.45am by then and the rain became heavier.
“We heard a loud rumble coming from the hilltop, in the direction of Sivan Temple’s arch. At the same time I felt the ground shake and within seconds, a river of mud came rushing down the slope.
He added that the incident had also brought down rocks and tree branches snapped like toothpicks.
“So far the people living in the area have been lucky but I fear what will happen if the slope is not strengthened,” he said.
Bahadur has been working at Fraser Towers for seven years.