Danger lurks around Section 17 project site

Residents expressing their unhappiness over the delay in infrastructure works in Section 17 Petaling Jaya, where accidents are becoming a norm.

Residents expressing their unhappiness over the delay in infrastructure works in Section 17 Petaling Jaya, where accidents are becoming a norm.

RESIDENTS in Section 17 Petaling Jaya no longer feel safe to go for a walk in their neighbourhood as there have been a number of accidents since late last year.

The accidents are mostly taking place around the construction of a 0.8ha mixed-development project which borders Jalan 17/44, Jalan 17/27, Jalan 17/38 and Jalan 17/29.

This development which started in 2014, was supposed to be completed early this year, but works are still ongoing at the site now along with the infrastructure upgrades.

These infrastructure works started in September last year and involved relocating drainage and electricity cables underground and road widening.

“I was riding along Jalan 17/38 on my motorcycle when suddenly something from the construction site hit my chest and the force was so strong that I was thrown off my bike,” said resident Wong Kok Son who is wearing a full back brace.

The 55-year-old explained that he experienced difficulties in breathing and fractured his spine on June 5 when the incident happened.

Passers-by and those working on site came to his aid and sent him to the hospital where he was hospitalised for four days.

Wong, who is a driver, said he would not be able to work for three months.

He made a police report and said he would be seeking compensation over the incident.

In another incident, an elderly pedestrian tripped on the excess gravel left on the road from the ongoing infrastructure upgrading, as she was walking beside the five-foot way.

“My mother tripped on a big stone along Jalan 17/44 three weeks ago and fell.

“Before the fall, she had recently undergone a total knee replacement surgery,” said resident Sherman Koh, whose mother is 65 years old.

Another resident, Jeanne Lim also suffered a fall two months ago along Jalan 17/38.

“I was trying to cross the road and I stepped on a stone that unbalanced me and I fell on the street,” said Lim who suffered bruised elbows and knees.

These are just the few known cases which residents reported but they believe there are unreported incidences since the infrastructure works started in September last year.

The project developer was slapped with two stop-work orders in 2016, one in April when part of the construction fixtures almost came tumbling down and the second in December when cement rained down on morning market traders along Jalan 17/29.

Bukit Gasing assemblyman R. Rajiv said he was unhappy with the delay.

“The developer should have completed the project by now but it has been dragging on and residents' safety is compromised,” he said.

He explained that the delay was due to the involvement of many different agencies such as Indah Water Konsortium and Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

He said the developer should have made arrangements with the relevant agencies before commencing work.

“They should have planned their work more systematically and ensure that all the utility companies start and finish work at the same time,” he added.

While the infrastructure upgrading is going on, gravel has been left on the roads and this affected traffic flow and further reduced parking space.

At some of the shoplots, the gravel is not flat but sloping down, making it dangerous and slippery for the more senior residents in the area.

“These infrastructure upgrades are a requirement by the Town and Country Planning Act and developers must fulfil them before the certificate of completion and compliance can be issued,” he said.

To ensure instances like this do not recur, Rajiv said he would be pushing for an amendment in the Act, to impose a specific time frame for works to be completed.

“If we were to get Petaling Jaya City Council to issue a stop-work order, it will be worse for residents as there will be further delay.

“But if the law allows for us to impose a specific time frame for the completion of infrastructure upgrades, we can compel work to be done, for example within a month,” he said.

He added that he would help residents get compensation from the developer in regards to their injuries suffered.