Residents up in arms over illegal dumpsite

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 19 Jun 2019

Kinrara Mas Apartment residents holding a peaceful protest to highlight their plight. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

RESIDENTS of Kinrara Mas Apartment in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, say the unbearable stench and pollution from an illegal dumpsite on a neighbouring piece of land have drastically affected their lives.

They organised a protest to urge the authorities to remove the waste and take action against the culprits.

The residents claimed that rubbish had been dumped on the private land since March, and believed it included toxic waste because of foul smell emanating from the site.

Two residents, who only wanted to be known as Peter and Jimmy, claimed that many residents suffered asthma attack, diarrhoea and flu because of the unhygienic environment.

“Some have even moved out of their homes as they were unable to bear the foul smell just 5m from the nearest apartments,” said Peter.

Another resident, who introduced herself only as Loh, said they could smell the stench even when they are indoors with all their windows and doors closed.

“We end up wearing masks even at home. The metal grilles and pipes have turned black and rusty. There must be some sort of toxic chemical reaction from the waste,” she said.

A resident who wanted to be identified only as Heng, said both her daughters encountered health issues because of the pollution.

“My five-year-old was admitted to hospital about two months ago as she was coughing badly. The doctors were unable to diagnose the exact cause,” she said.

“One week after she was discharged, she fell sick again. Her health improved only after we moved temporarily to a friend’s house.”

She said her older daughter, who is six, suffered from a skin problem.

“Their medical problems would recur whenever we return home. We are staying in Puncak Jalil temporarily until the problem is resolved,” she added.

Kinrara Mas Apartment working committee representative Vanessa Liew said numerous complaints were made to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation Sdn Bhd (SWCorp) and the Department of Environment (DOE).

“To-date, neither the landowner nor the authorities have removed the waste or addressed the pollution although the land is not a designated waste disposal site,” she said.

“There seems to be someone flattening the waste to level the ground rather than remove the rubbish.”

“We are appealing to Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin and Seputeh MP (Teresa Kok) to resolve our plight,” said Liew.

“What the residents want is for all the waste to be immediately removed and disposed of, and make sure there is no toxic materials there.”

Another committee member, Gan Kian Yeap, claimed there has been three fires at the site.

“It took a while for the firefighters to put them out because they were underground fires.”

An MPSJ spokesperson said the area fell under DBKL’s purview, and that the council referred the matter to its counterpart.

DBKL Health and Environment Department said in a statement that the stench was due to leachate contamination and that the rubbish dumped on the 3.3ha site comprised domestic and construction waste.

“The land was also misused. The landowner appointed a contractor to level the site but the contractor carried out illegal waste disposal activities without the landowner’s knowledge,” the statement read.

“That resulted in leachate seeping underground and flowing to nearby housing areas. Our department, along with SWCorp and DOE’s Kuala Lumpur offices, issued notices requiring immediate site clean-up works and a report submitted by May 28.”

The statement also said the landowner cleaned up the dumpsite and leachate suctioned out, adding that SWCorp would continue to monitor the issue from time to time.

Meanwhile, Kok’s secretary, Alice Lan, said officers from DBKL’s Health and Environment Department would be asked to talk to the residents on the safety measures that should be taken to address the pollution, health hazards and other issues affecting them.

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