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Saturday May 12, 2012

Independent engineer to conduct checks on houses with cracks in Section 14

AN INDEPENDENT structure engineer has been appointed to conduct checks at 13 houses in Section 14, Petaling Jaya, after residents claimed that construction work for a new building nearby was affecting their properties.

Councillor R. Selvarajan said the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Domain Resources Sdn Bhd had appointed the engineer to check the affected homes in Jalan 14/15.

“The engineer will then present a report after three weeks and only then we will know the severity and the condition of each home,” said Selvarajan.

Structural damage: A resident claim that the cracks started appearing all over the house due to the construction work at the former Jaya Supermarket site.

He said both the council and the contractor were unsure what caused the cracks as an earlier study showed that it had existed earlier and grew larger over time.

The general surface examination by P-Con Building Surveyors Sdn Bhd in March revealed that the cracks existed before and became bigger on the floors and walls of the houses, possibly due to soil movement.

MBPJ building control department assistant director Azurah Ghazali said the surveyors also gave the council suggestions to rectify the cracks, which she said was not satisfactory.

“The consultant told us to do a ‘patch-up’ on the cracks which we feel will not be able to solve the problem,” she said.

She added that the structure engineer was subsequently appointed to conduct a study.

Selvarajan also refuted claims from residents that the council was not aware of the situation and no short-term rectification work was carried out.

“The contractor and MBPJ officers have visited all the affected homes and we have repaired houses that needed urgent attention,” he said.

“So far the contractor had carried out minor repair work at four houses along the road,” he said.

Domain Resources Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Teong Choo Cheing said the dilapidation survey report carried out in 2010 and in March this year found no structural cracks.

The MBPJ has also requested the contractor to install settlement markers to monitor the ground condition.

“We will not hide the outcome of the report and if the houses need urgent attention we will rectify everything as promised,” said Selvarajan, adding that the contractor would bear the cost of the work.

Construction work on the seven-storey building with four levels of basement carpark began in early 2010 at the site of the former Jaya Supermarket and is due to be completed by April next year.

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