SLEEP does not come easy to the residents of Pandan Ria Apartment in Taman Pandan Ria, Ampang who live in fear that their homes may collapse due to suspected soil movement at the base of the 16-storey buildings.
According to the Joint Management Body (JMB) chairman Chia Siew Pin, they were alerted of the situation last year after the workers began repairing the drains in the area and discovered pockets of empty spaces underneath the structures.
“We were shocked to see gaps between the soil and the building after the old drains were dug out. The spaces were filled with stagnant water,” Chia said.
She said the workers came to repair the cracks and sinking drain problems at the apartment.
Gaping: Barely a year after the drains were repaired, cracks and even holes have appeared again.
“The workers just filled the gaps with sand and then proceeded to install the new drains.
“However, barely a year later, cracks are beginning to appear between the drain and the building again,” Chia said.
The airwell area of Block B is now lower than it was in 2004 when the residents started moving in.
“This area is sinking and the drains next to it are showing some bad cracks.
“Some of the heavy slabs covering the airwell area are also loose and unstable — a testimony that the ground is uneven,” Chia said.
JMB committee member Rosli Abdullah said getting a good night’s sleep was hard since the cracks appeared.
“Many residents complained to us and asked us why aren’t we are doing anything about it. The truth is, we too are not sure what is to be done as we are not experts in this,” he said.
The apartments consist of two 16-storey blocks with 565 units altogether while the cracks are mostly found at Block B.
A large gap on the floor where it meets the wall surrounding the elevator of Block B.
Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) councillor Tan Hua Meng said the developer’s consultant had visited the apartments prior to the drain works.
“After the site visit, the management received a letter from the consultant saying that the airwell area was sinking because of motorbikes parked on it. But the residents feel that this reason was inaccurate as motorcycles are not heavy enough to cause the ground to start sinking,” Tan said.
He also said under the law, all common area within a high-rise property was the responsibility of the management.
“However, the Public Works Department (JKR) and MPAJ officers visited the place in June last year and recommended that the management install a device that reads soil movement in the area,” Tan said.
He added that after a meeting between MPAJ, Ikram (Public Works Institute) and the JMB two months ago, Ikram agreed to come up with a cost report for it.
Tan also said no deadline was given for the report.
“We do not know yet how much it will cost to hire experts to study the soil movement or even to install the device.
“By law, it is the residents who should pay for it but if the cost proves to be too high, I will discuss with the relevant authorities to see how we can help,” Tan said.