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Wednesday September 10, 2008

Business owners up in arms

AN ongoing development project at the heart of the SS15 commercial centre in Subang Jaya has once again raised the ire of the business community in the area.

Business owners are irked by how the project, called First Subang, has “eaten” up the surrounding public roads with heavy cranes and road barriers.

Limited access: Heavy machinery occupying space on the public roads surrounding the project.

They also claimed that as work continues on the project, the road and parking lots at the site have been damaged.

Previously, StarMetro had reported that the project had encroached into public space, occupying parking lots meant for the public and its hoardings were a cause of danger to motorists and passers-by.

Following that, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) had issued a stop-work order on the project and also fined RM25,000 and RM500.

At that time, Titijaya Group of Companies had responded saying the machinery placed by the roadside was to help fix the hoardings as a safety precaution and that the machinery would be removed once the hoardings were repaired.

It also said it wanted to seek a solution together with MPSJ.

However, a recent visit showed that the parking lots had yet to be repaired and vehicles were also forced to park elsewhere as the hoardings had blocked part of the road.

Representatives from the business community also pointed out that the monsoon drain near the site was clogged by soil.

New rules: The monsoon drain was turned into a covered one due to the MPSJ’s new policy.

“Under the building by-law, there must be a setback from the border. Work should not start right at the border, which is why you have perimeter fencing,” businessman Tommy Teh said.

“In this case, the drain is now covered. Did the MPSJ grant the developer permission to do so? If not, then it is a violation,” he said.

The businessmen claimed that the approved project was for an office building, but banners advertising studio apartments had sprung up around the development.

They voiced their concerns to MPSJ engineering director Rosli Mohammad Yunus, Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh and JKP Zone 1 chairman Theresa Ratnam Thong during a recent walkabout in the SS15 area.

“We’ll be reviewing the conditions that the developer is supposed to abide by,” Thong said, adding that she was waiting for the MPSJ to get back to Yeoh and her.

Rosli admitted that some of the plans had not been followed, adding that the developer had been ordered to carry out remedial work.

“A stop-work order has also been issued, and work can only resume after the hoarding and parking lots have been repaired,” he said.

He added that the MPSJ had adopted a closed drain concept and the monsoon drain was still there, just under the ground.

Rosli said a meeting would be held with Thong and Yeoh next week over the matter.

“We are unable to monitor projects 24 hours a day so feedback from the business community and residents is good,” he added.

When contacted, Titijaya director Charmaine Lim denied claims that apartment units were being sold and said the advertisements referred to studio office lots.

“It’s a creative way of referring to a small office,” she said.

Lim also said she had checked with the contractors and Titijaya’s project department and was informed that the company had applied for approval to use the parking lots.

“We rented 19 bays to facilitate the construction work and have also sought approval from the Safety and Health Department to place machinery there,” she said.

Lim added that any parking lots affected would be repaired accordingly and the company would comply to the conditions set.

Meanwhile, she said back-filling the drain was a pre-requisite set during the construction stage and it was meant to upgrade the existing open drain to an underground covered drain for surface run-off.


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