At the site: Goh taking a photo of the excavator, which is about to push the soil downhill at Bukit Kiara.
HAPHAZARD land clearing and soil dumping in the name of slope reinforcement in Bukit Kiara Kuala Lumpur have now given rise to fears of another massive landslide occurring.
Visitors to the park and environmentalists are appalled that contractors appointed by the National Landscape Department (JLN) are carrying out land-clearing works without proper planning.
The slope reinforcement works began after a minor landslide in November last year.
A site visit by StarMetro yesterday found that a large area of the slope had been cleared of vegetation, with an excavator transferring the soil into a tipper lorry to be dumped on the other side of the road.
This is then pushed downhill by the excavator.
It is estimated that more than 50 trees on the slope have been felled so far and the area is now exposed to the elements.
Cracks have also appeared on the soil surface, and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) vice-president
Henry Goh said this indicated
that water was seeping underground.
Despite the danger of a possible landslide or accident that may
occur due to the exposed soil and presence of heavy machinery,
many are still using the jogging path at the bottom of the slope.
Goh, who showed StarMetro the worksite, said measures taken by JLN to rectify the stiuation after the November landslide, had backfired when a bigger landslide occurred in December.
“Now they have cleared an even larger area, increasing the risk,” he said.
“The errant soil-dumping activity, which has been going on for the last three weeks, has also damaged a new trail and polluted a stream downhill.
“Who is going to clear the dumped soil now? All the hard work and time put in by Trail Association Of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (TRAKS) members in building the trail is now wasted.
“The clear streams are now murky too,” he said.
During yesterday’s visit, the site was quiet and an excavator was parked at the foot of the slope.
A third landslide had occurred further in the area at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, JLN’s 3.5m-high fence project along a 4.7km stretch to demarcate the area, which
was halted after a public outcry in July 2012, resumed two months ago.
Park users and environmentalists have been pushing for the fence to be removed but Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK) received a letter from JLN last year stating that the
halted fencing project would resume.
FoBK chairman Liew Khooi Cheng said the NGO had not received a reply to their letter of objection until now, although the fence was about to be completed.
“Even before completion, some parts of the fence are already damaged because of soil erosion and fallen trees.
“JLN said the project costs more than RM20mil. We have been against it because we know that the fence will not be able to last due to the natural terrain.
“Soon the soil will give way or vegetation will creep up. It will then cost JLN more to maintain the fence,” he said.
Bukit Kiara stakeholders have also long been campaigning for 188.9ha of land in Bukit Kiara to be gazetted as a green lung.
When contacted, JLN refused to comment.