THE drain upgrading works along Jalan Wangsa 1, Bukit Antarabangsa’s main access road, is worrying some of the residents in the area.
The project by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) involves fitting new precast drain inlet into the old drains along the road.
“The old drains have plenty of leaks and cracks and once the new ones are fitted into it, you cannot monitor the soil movement due to the double layer,” said a 39-year-old resident of Jalan Wangsa 11 who wished to remain anonymous.
Covering up: The precast drain inlet being fitted into the old drain.
According to engineer Shaik Abdul Wahed Datuk Rahim the book Slopes Made Simple by, the method of burying broken sections of drains and other debris and packing the soil badly under a new one makes the repair look good but it could lead to problems later.
MPAJ engineering department director Hasrolnizam Shaari said some sections of the old drain along Jalan Wangsa 1 could not be dug out because the soil in the area might become unstable.
“The gaps and cracks along the old drains will be filled with concrete before the new precasts are put in. Where possible, we will dig out the old parts for replacement,” he said, adding that the two-month project involving the entire road was expected to be completed in one month.
Two slope areas along the road were covered in blue plastic sheets, raising concerns about soil erosion.
Far too many: (From left) SlopeWatch chairman Abdul Razak Bahrom, Mohamad, Shahrul and fellow resident Razali Husain discussing their concerns about the development taking place.
The land clearing works for a residential project in Taman Bukit Alam, which faces the slope, has also raised residents’ concern.
They wanted to know whether the Selangor Highland and Hillslope Planning and Develop-ment Guidelines were being applied on these projects.
“The guidelines launched earlier this year are quite good but since the residential project was approved in 2007, can the guidelines be applied?” asked Shahrul Hafiz Teh Abdullah, Coalition of Bukit Antarabangsa Residents Association (CoBARA) chairman.
Still safe: Lee says the project follows the natural terrain and involved only minor cutting into the hill.
Further up the slope from the development site is a water treatment plant and the access road leading to the houses along Jalan Wangsa 3 and 5.
The residential project will comprise 60 three-storey semi-detached units, one three-storey home and an electric substation.
Landowner Coral View Sdn Bhd was one of the 11 developers who were called in for a meeting in February with MPAJ and the residents to discuss matters pertaining to hillslope mitigation measures in the area.
Another resident Mohamad Othman, 50, a consultant, said the entrance to the construction site, located on the single-carriageway Jalan Wangsa 1, was not safe.
“The road is uphill and lorries carrying construction materials will be moving very slowly and this could lead to traffic congestion,” he said.
Hasrolnizam said the development was taking place on Class I and II slopes with gradients within the safe limits for development.
Status unknown: A development proposal board on a plot of land opposite the Taman Bukit Alam project
“The project site is actually on an existing platform of land that does not require the developer to cut too much into the slope behind it or create high embankments,” he said.
He added that the project was approved in 2007 after meeting all council requirements.
Coral View Sdn Bhd project manager C. K. Lee said the project followed natural terrain and involved only minor cutting into the slope.
“As per MPAJ requirements, we have also built retaining walls not more than six metres high at some parts,” Lee said.
He added that residents and MPAJ officers had visited the site about a month ago to check the brick hump or interlocking paver built in front of the site’s entrance.
“After the meeting, we smoothened the paver, put up safety signboards, installed speed breakers and two lights to make sure motorists can see the paver clearly at night,” Lee said.
He said there was no other possible entrance to the site as they did not own any of the surrounding land.
A proposal board announcing a mixed business and residential development between Villa Sri Ukay and Jalan Wangsa 1 was also spotted on another piece of land opposite the residential project site.
Residents said the board had been there since 2007 but the status of the project was unknown.