Illegal renovations cause flooding

Rubini (fourth from left), Balaindran (third from left) and other residents showing a covered drain with just one small pipe for water to flow. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

DR RUBINI PV Lingam’s home has been flooded several times this year ever since renovation work was done at the house next door.

Her neighbour renovated his house and covered the main drain in front of her home in Jalan Awan Cina in Taman Yarl, Kuala Lumpur.

The work carried out without approval from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) caused floodwater and rubbish to gush into her porch each time it rained heavily.

“It’s like a dam broke somewhere,’’ said Rubini, whose house is located on lower ground.

When she brought the matter up with DBKL, she said two officers inspected the drains and confirmed that the neighbour had tarred up the entire stretch, leaving only a tiny pipe for water to flow.

“When I spoke to him, he apologised, saying he was unaware of his contractor’s work.

“The officers noted there were several other renovated houses in the same row that also encroached into the main drains,” said Rubini.

Taman Yarl Rukun Tetangga chairman K. Balaindran said he was not surprised because the road had flooded many times.

“Owners blame their contractors and contractors say they were only following instructions. But in the end, people like us suffer,” he said, calling for DBKL to demolish the illegal structures.

Residents of Taman Dato Senu in Sentul have also been suffering for months from illegal renovations blocked water from flowing into drains, leading to floods.

The trapped rubbish and stagnant drain water also caused dengue and chikungunya cases last year.

Resident K. Lourdes said he had chikungunya last year and reported to DBKL that his neighbour had renovated his porch and blocked the main drain.

“Alam Flora workers could not remove the rubbish because the drain was cemented.

“People who do this should be arrested as they are causing a health hazard.”

StarMetro reported last year about a chikungunya outbreak in Sentul with 56 confirmed cases attributed to clogged drains.

When contacted, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Building Control Department director Norizan Sulaiman said any renovation beyond residents’ front or back gates was illegal.

“A notice will be issued to the owners to demolish the encroachment,” he added.

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