FEAR for one’s safety and soil stability strikes when driving past a development project along Jalan SS1/39, right below the Taman Paramount LRT station in Petaling Jaya.
Apart from an ongoing housing development project consisting of 18 terrace houses there, two other land clearing activities were also taking place right beside it – one below the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) electrical towers and the other under the Taman Paramount LRT tracks.
When StarMetro visited the area, excavators were seen digging into the TNB reserve land.
Similarly, the land below the train tracks had been levelled, with large amounts of soil around two LRT pillars cleared away.
Here, the area has been cemented to cater for the station’s paid Park’n’Ride parking services.
According to a notice board there, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is responsible for the Park’n’Ride project as it aims to encourage the public to use alternative means of transport in the city.
However, the reason for the digging in TNB reserve land was still unknown.
StarMetro spoke to a few residents living nearby to find out and most said they were not even informed by MBPJ or the developer about the projects there.
The lack of dialogue sessions and objection period for new developments had led residents to believe that some of the digging was illegal.
“How can digging on TNB reserve land below the towers be legal and also look at the digging below the train tracks.
“At least a minimum of five feet (1.5m) of soil was removed just to level the ground.
“They even dug so close to the LRT pillars,” said Sri Aman flat’s Rukun Tetangga chairman Abdul Kahar Ahmad.
Most of the residents of the flats used to be squatters in the area before being moved out to make way for the LRT construction and other housing development projects in the area.
According to him, the land for amenities beside their flats – a surau, kindergarten and hall will also be taken away for the park and ride project.
“On Jan 5, we (residents) stopped contractors who were about to dig the ground around a third LRT pillar because the land belongs to us” he said.
A portion of the car park beside their flats has also been acquired for the project.
“We are not against any development there but we want it to be done properly.
“They cannot carry out projects at the expense of the residents living there by taking their land, road access and car park away,” said fellow resident Zairee Mohamad.
He added that there were over 300 units in the flat but less than 100 parking bays allocated for them.
Community organisation Friends of Tasik Aman chairman Rajendran Govindasamy said park users and nearby residents were also alarmed by the developments.
He added that from discussions with TNB representatives, there had never been any permission given to dig underneath the pylon for the developer of the 18 residential units.
“We’ve also emailed the Petaling Jaya mayor, but his people told us they were unaware of this,” said Rajendran.
It was our understanding that the TNB reserve land was set as a green lung area from Tasik Aman till Paramount View condominiums,” Rajendran said.
Asset maintenance senior general manager for TNB’s Transmission Division Husaini Hussin said TNB had given its go-ahead for the Park’n’Ride project proposed by MBPJ in 2015.
“The green light was given after discussions on complying with safety conditions during the parking area’s construction and operation,” said Hussaini, adding that permission for the project had been given by the Petaling Land Office in 2013.
However, no mention was made of any excavations under the pylons on the developer’s side in the statement given by Husaini.
When contacted, Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana) confirmed that they are aware of the park and ride project that is going on below their train tracks at Taman Paramount LRT station.
“The car park facility is built by the council to meet people’s needs and this will have to be done without compromising the residents safety, security and technical requirements,” said a spokesman from Prasarana.
They will be working closely with MBPJ to ensure the safety and technical requirements are met.
While the council’s Park’n’Ride projects at various LRT stations had been announced as far back as 2013, questions sent by StarMetro to the council regarding the exact status of the land’s use according to the local plan and if the council was aware about the land clearing have gone unanswered.
According to Rajendran, there will be a community gathering this Saturday at 8am to discuss the issue.
When contacted, Kampung Tungku assemblyman Lau Weng San said that MBPJ had built a car park for the flats after realising the developer did not provide sufficient parking spaces.
“MBPJ paid for the construction cost to build this dedicated car park and this will not be affected by the park and ride project.
“But I know an extension of the car park was illegally built by residents there and this will be taken for the project,” he said.
Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya Utara MCA chairman Tan Gim Tuan urges MBPJ and the developer to be more transparent about their plans and projects happening there.
“They must explain what is happening and how will these projects benefit the people there.
“If they don’t there will only be confusion and worry among the residents living nearby,” he said.