FOURTEEN businesses which had been running without permits for years on Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) reserve land in PJU 1 got a shock when enforcement team from the local government and Land Office came to demolish their structures.
The enforcement officers and TNB personnel arrived in Jalan PJU 1/23 at 8am, before the business owners came in, to start severing electrical and water connections.
Petaling Jaya City Council excavators and bulldozers then moved in and began tearing down the buildings’ concrete and metal walls.
A glance at the occupants’ businesses being demolished showed most of them to be doing tiling and storage.
Over 100 personnel, nearly half comprising city council enforcement personnel and a police Light Strike Force unit, were on standby in case of any struggle. It was trouble-free except for a small incident early on in the operation, when a former councillor (who was Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin’s representative) was confronted by a group of men from a carwash centre in the location.
A Land Office enforcement senior officer said the Land Office had sent out two notices in 2014 and 2015, under Section 425 of the National Land Code for unlawful occupation of state land.
“The third notice was issued in February, and we postponed the operation until after Chinese New Year as we wanted to give them time to move out on their own, without us having to go in and demolish their structures.
“However, not one of them responded to the Land Office on the matter,” he said,
Yesterday’s operation focused on one side of Jalan PJU 1/23, where illegal structures were built directly under TNB high-tension cables. The other side of the road also has illegal structures but action could not be carried out yet as part of the land belongs to Selangor Forestry Department.
As such, there will be no enforcement until the boundaries for both state land and Forestry Department have been properly marked out.
The issue to clear out the illegal occupants had been ongoing for more than two years, according to Yeo, and was raised by residents because of illegal dumping and open burning at the site.
“Many of the operators, when we met with them prior to today’s operation, said they were renting land from middlemen who claimed the land was theirs,” she said.
Yeo said entrepreneurs had the option of applying for Temporary Occupation Licence (TOLs) from the Land Office if they wished to operate certain permitted activities such as plant nurseries or short-term vegetable planting on reserve land.
Other permitted activities for a TOL include guard booths (for gated-and-guarded communities), advertising billboards and carparks.