Lembah Pantai construction site gets closure order

Dr Noor Akma placed the closure notice at the construction site in Lembah Pantai.

A CONSTRUCTION site in Lembah Pantai was ordered shut yesterday due to sanitary and hygiene violations which will see its contractor brought to court.

Fifty officers from Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) Health and Environment Department and Federal Territories Health Department raided the construction site within the Angkasapuri grounds following complaints from workers in the Lembah Pantai area about the unusually high number of mosquitoes recently.

The authorities detected 20 mosquito-breeding grounds within the construction site during the operation.

DBKL Health and Environment department director Datin Dr Noor Akma Shabuddin said the officers, who were divided into five teams, collected samples from the 18.21ha site.

“The samples were mostly collected from puddles.

“According to our standard operating procedures, we will close the site if we find at least 20 breeding grounds.

“They will be charged in court under Section 8(3)(aa) of the Destruction of Disease-bearing Insects Act 1975, ” she said during the press conference held at the site office.

If convicted, the contractor may be fined no more than RM10,000 or imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

Asked if the recent wet season could have caused the mosquito breeding, Noor Akma said the samples taken showed otherwise.

“We found pupae in the samples, so the waters must have been there for days.

“So it was caused by the recent downpour, ” she added.

The construction site has 14 days to clear the site of any mosquito-breeding grounds and will be allowed to resume operations once DBKL’s Health and Environment Department is satisfied with the clean-up.

Noor Akma said a comprehensive report on the precautionary measures taken by the contractor should be submitted to the department.

Media City Development Sdn Bhd project director Walter Yap said his team would look into addressing the matter immediately.

“We will discuss the matter with the pest control team.

“We will also get more groups (pest control officers) to ensure the whole area is covered.

“Having just one group is not sufficient as this is a big construction site, ” he said.

Noor Akma said the seven deaths caused by dengue in Kuala Lumpur this year could have been prevented by ensuring there were no breeding grounds.

“This year, 108 construction sites were ordered to close compared with 87 last year, ” she said.

Kuala Lumpur recorded 13,683 dengue cases this year, an increase of 108.4% from the 6,566 cases last year.

“Kuala Lumpur recorded the second highest number of dengue cases in Malaysia this year, after Selangor which had more than 70,000 cases.

“We have never exceeded 10,000 cases in Kuala Lumpur previously, ” Noor Akma said, adding that this year was an all-time high for dengue cases. The total cases in Malaysia went up by 65% from 75,612 last year to 124,777 this year while the number of deaths rose by 28.9%, from 135 in 2018 to 174 in 2019.

“Most of the mosquito-breeding sites were found in public areas such as shopping malls and public transportation stations which accounted for 12% of the total cases in Kuala Lumpur.

“Others include playgrounds and recreational areas (9.9%), abandoned housing projects (9.8%), vacant land (9.5%) and cemetery areas (8.3%).

“Seputeh recorded 1,674 dengue cases, the highest in Kuala Lumpur, followed by Batu (1,600) and Segambut (1,586), ” she said.

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