KUALA LUMPUR City Hall’s (DBKL) action of entering a private land in Taman Kaya/Springfield, Sentul to address a blocked culvert problem that caused flash floods was necessary, says Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.
However, the landowners claim that DBKL trespassed as the local authority did not get their consent.
DBKL, the landowners and developer are in a legal dispute involving the land after a drain was discovered during construction in 2014.
On Wednesday, Amin Nordin together with Batu MP P. Prabakaran, met the landowners’ representative as work to clear the culvert was ongoing.
“We consulted our legal department and were given the green light to move in and clear the drain.
“We had to move in as a few areas in Taman Kaya were facing flash floods,” said Amin Nordin.
He added that unblocking the culvert was a temporary measure to prevent flooding, and the next action would be to divert the drainage in Taman Kaya/Springfield.
The project to divert the drainage would take two to three months, said Amin Nordin.
However, developer Alamrio Properties Sdn Bhd managing director Jerry Dinesh Pereira said DBKL did not get the landowners’ consent to enter the land.
“A DBKL officer called me in the morning for consent but I told him ‘no’ as advised by the landowners.
“My staff were on-site and told DBKL officers that they were trespassing but they were ignored.
“The officers said they had instructions from the mayor,” he said.
Alamrio Properties solicitors Ganesh & Co managing partner Ganesh Perumal said DBKL staff and the mayor trespassed when they entered the land to unblock the culvert.
“I was informed that DBKL started work around 10.30am and the mayor arrived at 2.30pm to ensure his instructions were carried out.
Ganesh said the proper procedure would have been to apply for a mandatory court injunction to remove the blockage.
He added that the judge would then give conditions with proper safeguards for the landowners and DBKL, with public interest as the top priority.
“The culvert has interfered with the landowners’ enjoyment of the land and caused depreciation in land value,” he said, adding that the project was stalled after a 30m culvert of 3m depth was discovered during earthworks.
The landowners and developer claimed no party, including DBKL, had ownership of the drain.
This prompted the landowners and developer to initiate legal action against DBKL.
In March, DBKL was found to be negligent in approving the development order and building plan, as it was unaware that there was a drain situated in the aforesaid land.
The case is now on appeal.