FOURTEEN illegal businesses operating on TNB reserve land in PJU 1 were forced to move out after Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) excavators moved in to demolish their structures early this morning.
To cut down on chances for conflict with the disgruntled occupants, TNB and Syabas technicians had moved into Jalan PJU 1/23 at 7.30am to start cutting electrical and water connections before the machines moved in.
About 100 personnel from various agencies, including a police Light Strike Force unit complete with riot gear, were on standby.
Most of the occupants were found to be doing business either selling hardware and tiling, or offering storage for items such as scrap metal.
Previously, the Petaling Land Office had issued Section 425 notices to the 14 occupants for illegally occupying state land, back in 2014 and 2015.
The most recent attempt to get the occupants to move out without force was back in February with another round of Section 425 notices, which were ignored, according to the Land Office enforcement officer leading the operation.
The demolition operation lasted until 12.30pm, although the land’s clearing-up would take another four to five days, with the costs borne by TNB.
Although there are other structures built under TNB pylons adjacent to Jalan PJU 1/23 as well, these were left alone for now, due to unclear boundaries between state land and the Selangor Forestry Department land.
The move to clear out the illegal occupiers, according to Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin, began after nearby residents complained about illegal dumping and open burning in the area.
Many of the business operators occupying the reserve land, she added, claimed they were “renting” the land from middlemen who had claimed the reserve land belonged to them.