Delving into murky waters


  • Metro News
  • Tuesday, 19 Mar 2019

Other than air pollution, the machinery used in sand washing activities also creates a din. (Right) A couple living in Andes Villa looking out from their balcony which faces the sand washing site.

RESIDENTS living in Andes Condo Villa and Mutiara Bukit Jalil near the Kampung Bohol flood retention pond in Kuala Lumpur are joining forces to put a stop to an illegal sand washing activity taking place near their homes.

Residents, some of whom are lawyers, engineers and environmentalists, will set up a pro-tem committee to resolve the long-standing issue which they claim has adversely affected their quality of life.

Waking up to the incessant droning sound of sand washing machines, water pumps, high pressure jet sprays and excavators scooping up sand and gravel as well as hundreds of tipper lorries coming in and out of their neighbourhood is too much for residents.

“It is an endless din that has robbed me of peace of mind,’’ said Marian Loh who lives in Andes Condo Villa.

“Imagine living next to a construction site where the work never stops.”

Mutiara Bukit Jalil resident Chong Han Hoi said he highlighted the matter to the authorities seven years ago but no action was taken.

Kevin Yap said he shuts his windows and balcony door 24/7 to keep out the noise and dust.

Buildings at the site where illegal sand washing is taking place.
Buildings at the site where illegal sand washing is taking place.

“We are worried about our health too as it is not safe because of air pollution,’’ Yap said.

“I have children and I worry about their health. This is not the kind of environment to bring up children,” said resident Kit Wong.

Loh hoped the authorities would take proactive measures and stop the work immediately, especially in light of the recent toxic pollution incident in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

Their next plan of action is to approach Seputeh MP Teresa Kok on the matter.

“We will seek a meeting with Kok. If that does not work, then we will take it up with the Kuala Lumpur mayor and Federal Territories minister,” said Wong Soon Kiat.

“We will even lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if that is what it takes to get things going.”

The Kampung Bohol flood retention pond is badly affected by the sand washing activity nearby.
The Kampung Bohol flood retention pond is badly affected by the sand washing activity nearby.

Residents are simply fed up as the illegal sand washing activity has been going on for many years with repeated warnings from the authorities falling on deaf ears.

StarMetro highlighted the issue in 2008, and again in August last year where sediment in the retention pond due to direct discharge of mud water into Sungai Kuyoh by an unlicensed sand washing operator badly affected the pond’s habitat and river.

In a meeting last year attended by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Enforcement, Legal, Economic Planning, Landscape, Valuation and Property Management departments, which was chaired by Civil Engineering and Urban Transportation Department director Abdul Hamid Surip, it was revealed that illegal sand washing and rubbish dumping operations were taking place at Lot 40401.

A search at the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office (PTG) showed the Government was the landowner but a subsidiary of a textile company has a private caveat, registered on Nov 12, 2015, on the lot.

However, when StarMetro contacted the company for clarification, an executive claimed to have no knowledge of illegal sand washing taking place on the land.

It had also leased part of the land to another private company.

Chong says he highlighted the matter to the authorities seven year ago but nothing has been done about the sand washing site.
Chong says he highlighted the matter to the authorities seven year ago but nothing has been done about the sand washing site.

The executive said if the tenant was found to have broken the law, it would enforce the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement.

It has been seven months since the issue was reported but sand washing continues at the site.

Kuala Lumpur Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) director Nishad Mohamed Mohd Shaffy has written to PTG asking for a status update.

“PTG should take the lead and enforce the law,” said Nishad.

A DBKL spokesman told StarMetro that the issue was under PTG’s jurisdiction and governed by the National Land Code 1965.

“We are frustrated and disappointed too,’’ said the spokesman.

“We are ready to assist in enforcement but PTG has to act first.”

At press time, PTG had yet to respond on the matter.


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