Bukit Gasing battle-cry: On to KL City Hall

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz

Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

Residents of Bukit Gasing in Kuala Lumpur will take their dissatisfaction direct to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) if it maintains its silence over a bungalow development project.

Maxwell Towers' Owners Association chairperson Victor Oorjitham ( left ) said DBKL has not responded to numerous letters sent to KL mayor Ruslin Hasan ( right ) since Sept 23, 2005, when Ruslin last met the residents over the matter.

"It was unanimously agreed by the residents that, if there was no response within a reasonable amount of time, we will organise a demonstration at the DBKL (building in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur)," Oorjitham said when contacted today.

About 300 residents from Maxwell, Fraser, and Cameron towers and Petaling Gardens yesterday demonstrated at Gasing Indah in Section 5, Petaling Jaya, against implementation of the housing project.

Some 5,000 residents in the area believe that their lives will be endangered and that the project will adversely affect the ecology and environment of Bukit Gasing.

Citing a study by Universiti Malaya geologists and a second one by the Geological Society of Malaysia, Oorjitham said both had concluded that the southern part of Bukit Gasing was unsafe to build on because of the predominance of shale and sand in the soil composition.

Ruslin had, at the meeting, promised that no development would take place in the area. Similar assurances have been made since by officials of the Federal Territories Ministry, said Oorjitham.

Earlier applications for development projects on Bukit Gasing had been rejected by previous mayor Kamaruzzaman Shariff in 1996, due to the dangers involved, Oorjitham said.

Two weeks ago, however, residents discovered that suspicious drilling activities were being conducted on Bukit Gasing.

Their fears were confirmed, said Oorjitham, when residents confronted workers conducting the tests and found out that soil-tests were being done for a housing project.

'Grim picture'

Section 5 Residents Association chairperson Edward Lee said these fears were substantiated recently by a geologist who cited potential disaster should development be allowed on Bukit Gasing.

"In his presentation to us, the consultant gave us a very grim picture of the possible disaster that could take place," said Lee.

Oorjitham quoted an Oct 6 announcement by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Azmi Khalid that no development would be allowed on hill slopes with a gradient exceeding 15 degrees.

Residents also fear the impact of further development on Bukit Gasing, on top of which sits a 21 million gallon reservoir, said Oorjitham.

"In the event of a subsidence of soil due to development works, there could be a tremendous tragedy (if the reservoir collapses)," said Oorjitham.

A spokesperson for DBKL said the mayor would not be making statements on the matter until City Hall's report on the matter is completed and submitted to Federal Territories Minister Zulhasnan Rafique.

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