MPAJ: Rockfall incident not landslide

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 27 Jan 2018

The boulder that tumbled down into a pool of mud at the bottom of the hillslope.

“IT WAS not a landslide,” asserted several authorities in reference to the Taman Saga rockfall incident.

The Ampang Jaya municipality has been known for issues related to unstable slopes over many years, so it is only natural that residents are greatly concerned over news of every landslip or fallen rock from hill slopes.

On Jan 23, panic arose among residents along Jalan Saga 28 in the housing estate when a boulder of approximately 1m by 1m fell from a height of more than 35m from the Sungai Besi–Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway (Suke) construction site, into a pool of mud.

It resulted in gush of mud that splashed over a distance of around 80m, covering cars and houses. Ten houses were affected.

Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) president Abdul Hamid Abdul Hussain said the project’s contractor had created a buffer zone as a precautionary measure.

The zone measures a distance of 30m from the foothill to the concrete wall barrier, followed by another 50m from the barrier to the nearest house. As such no injuries or casualties were reported nor were any nearby assets damaged.

“I want to reassure the residents that they do not have to worry as it was not a landslide, only a rock that was dislodged by ongoing highway construction work, which fell into pool of mud.

“MPAJ has asked the contractor to stop work until we ensure that safety and security measures have been taken to avoid future incidents.

“We ask the highway concessionaire to monitor the work of its contractors in complying with the rules. In the event they do not, we can either issue a compound or stop-work order,” Abdul Hamid said at a fullboard meeting yesterday.

He also said investigation found no signs of slope failure in the structure, made of granite.

“The rock fell because of construction activities, not any movement or disturbance in the soil. But if it were the case, the highway concessionaire or contractor will be responsible in carrying out stabilising activities.

On the same day (Jan 23), panic struck Saga Suria Flats residents as heavy rain turned into a flash flood at the highrise’s parking lot. Residents blamed it on the Suke project site.

“We found the cliff had ruptured due to the heavy rains, causing water to flow down the slopes and reaching the apartment’s parking area.

“The two brem drains were subsequently clogged with mud. MPAJ had directed the Suke contractor to carry out cleaning work while we assisted,” the council president added.

At a media briefing, Suke acting general manager Faizal Othman said work would resume after Prolintas was satisfied with the quality of mitigation works carried out by the contractor.

He said Prolintas had already briefed the residents on their mitigation plans.

Members of the media were brought to visit the site of Suke’s Alam Damai toll plaza where the very first beam of the highway had just been successfully installed the night before.

Faizal said the RM4.63bil highway was at nearly 20% completion and work was slightly ahead of schedule. Its targeted completion date is Dec 25, 2019.

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