Landowner ordered to clear overgrowth or risk facing fine, jail term

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 31 Jul 2020

The abandoned land at the main entrance of Azuria Apartments in Jalan Lembah Permai, Penang. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

THE owner of the piece of idle land in Jalan Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah, Penang, has been ordered by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and state Health Department to clear the overgrowth and abandoned materials.

MBPP councillor Connie Tan Hooi Peng said the idle land, which previously received complaints of being a mosquito breeding ground from residents of the Azuria Condominium and Permai Ria Apartments nearby, was a private plot.

“MBPP has issued a notice to the landowner to clear the idle land of rubbish and overgrowth as well as to remove material which causes disturbance to the environment of the surrounding residents.

“If the landowner does not clear the land, the landowner could be subjected to a fine of up to RM1,000 or a jail term of up to six months or both under Section 82 of the Local Government Act 1976.

“The state Health Department has issued a notice to the owner as well under Section 8 of the Destruction of Disease-bearing Insects Act 1975, ” she said at a press conference in Komtar yesterday.

Referring to a report by The Star titled ‘Sick and sleepless over mosquito threat’ on July 29, Tan said she was disappointed with the problems former assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu pointed out when he visited the area.

“As a former assemblyman for the area, we would like to know what Teh had done to solve this issue over the past 10 years as he is pointing this out only now.

“But anyhow, the council will try to solve this matter soon as we have issued a notice to the landowner, ” she said.

Tan said as for the other idle piece of council land in the same area, MBPP does carry out routine maintenance from time to time, with the last session on July 24.

“For that 1,403sq m piece of council land in the area, the council actually received complaints back in September 2015 from the Azuria Condominium management body. The management had requested for a children’s playground to be erected on that piece of land.

“But in our site investigations with the northeast district and land office as well as Survey and Mapping Department, we found that there were physical changes to the land in connection with the river alignment.

“In 2018, we prepared a RM3mil fund to upgrade the land but after detailed study on the land, we found that more work needs to be done before we do the upgrading.

“This involves mainly drainage works and soil levelling.

“The council built a drainage system on the land in 2018 and the work was completed last year, ” she added.

Tan said due to the high cost to level the soil and complete drainage works on the piece of land, the council sidelined the upgrading of the land in 2018 and focused on other idle pieces of land to be upgraded instead.

“In 2018 alone, the council upgraded four idle plots on the island, namely Taman Lalulintas in Jalan Nirwana, the land near Solok Sungai Pinang 6 in Sungai Pinang, the land near Jalan Sri Genting 1 in Balik Pulau and Lorong Zoo 7 in Ayer Itam.

“As for the 1,403sq m piece of land, the council has decided to hand it over to the Penang Stadium and Open Area Corporation.

“After handing it over, we will then discuss with them to see how we can change or utilise the land, ” she said.

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