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Monday May 7, 2012

Residents claim construction work is damaging their houses

RESIDENTS whose houses are located near the former Jaya Supermarket in Section 14, Petaling Jaya, are concerned that construction works for a new building at the site is affecting their properties.

Chiu Seng Han said that cracks started appearing all over his house in the middle of last year. He attributed the cracks to ongoing works at the construction site opposite his house in Jalan 14/15.

“We want the authorities to send a structural engineer or someone equally qualified to verify the safety of our homes and to declare whether they are safe for occupation,” the 54-year-old said.

“We have had several meetings with the developer, contractor and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) representatives since last year, but no action has been taken,” he added.

Structural damage: Chiu said cracks started appearing in the middle of last year.

Aniceta Ferns, 53, said the residents want the developer to carry out repairs for the affected houses in a collective manner and not on a piecemeal basis.

Ferns, who has been residing in Jalan 14/15 for 35 years, hopes the repair works will be carried out soon as the cracks, which can be seen on the walls and floor from the porch to kitchen, are getting wider.

Chin Yok Yin, 70, and Shamsul Bahri, 44, complained that in addition to the cracks, the construction works have also affected the piping system to their houses.

“I noticed something amiss when there was a spike in my water bill last year. I suspect my water supply has been affected since piling works commenced at the construction site,” Shamsul said.

“I don’t want to risk carrying out my own repairs, as I feel it is the developer’s responsibility to rectify the problem,” he said.

Chin claimed that the developer put the blame on cracked walls and faulty piping on the fact that the structures are more than three decades old.

“The developer and MBPJ representatives checked the affected houses last week,” she said.

“The developer is supposed to issue a full report based on the visit to indicate the repairs that need to be carried out and where to place the affected houseowners in the interim.”

Chiu said the residents want an assurance from the authorities on the safety of their homes and to find out the extent of repairs that the developer would be willing to undertake.

The residents estimate that more than 20 houses along Jalan 14/15 and several along Lorong 14/2C are affected by the construction work for a new seven-storey shopping mall at the site.

Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian urged the MBPJ to call for a meeting with the developer soon to iron out the details of the house repairs.

“The developer should have sent qualified personnel to inspect the houses and not just a representative,” he said.

“The authorities should also look into reopening Jalan 14/15, which was closed when Jaya Supermarket collapsed, to allow two-way access to resume and not continue inconveniencing residents,” he said.

Representatives from the developer’s and contractor’s offices could not be contacted at press time.

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