Residents gather to protest proposed development at Kg Bohol flood retention pond area


KUALA LUMPUR: Despite being on crutches, S. Sivakumar, 53, traversed muddy fields under the blazing sun to reach the Kg Bohol flood retention pond in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (May 15) morning.

He was among 200 people from the Klang Valley who converged at the pond to protest its proposed revocation and redevelopment, which threatens a vital flood mitigation site.

ALSO READ: KL MPs object to proposed development at Kg Bohol flood retention pond area

Travelling with much difficulty from his home at the Kg Muhibbah people’s housing project in Kuala Lumpur, Sivakumar was determined to participate in the protest against transforming the Bohol flood retention pond into a massive housing project.

"I had to come and support because we at PPR Kg Muhibbah are affected too. While we may not be flood victims, we suffer from congestion due to overdevelopment. It's a daily struggle for an able-bodied person to navigate traffic; it’s worse for people like me,” he explained.

Another protester, Salmah Hamdan, 63, a resident of Kinrara, Selangor, recounted her experience with floods in December 2021, March 2022, and December 2023.

"I lost thousands of ringgit; my furniture, my fridge, everything was destroyed in the 2022 flood, and after repairing everything, we were hit again,” she lamented.

ALSO READ: Bohol pond in peril again with new development plan

"Now they want to build more houses here, and I will have none of it," she added.

The protesters stood under the blazing sun, listening to representatives from residents' associations, Rukun Tetangga, and NGOs speaking out against the redevelopment.

“We have jointly established a committee called the “Joint Committee to Preserve the Bohol Flood Retention Pond,” and so far, there are representatives from 36 RAs, RTs, and NGOs, as well as residents living around the pond,” said spokesperson Datuk Ng See Eng.

“We are here collectively today to oppose any form of development of the pond, and we want the government to upgrade the pond and maintain it as a flood mitigation pond,” Ng said.

Ng said that the government was planning to alienate lands around the pond to build some 5,000 housing units.

He said the area has experienced flooding on multiple occasions, including July 22, 2020, December 18, 2021, March 7, 2022, and December 30, 2023.

“We want the pond custodian, the Department of Drainage and Irrigation, and the landowner, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), and the Federal Territory Department to stop all approvals for this development,” Ng said.

StarMetro first reported the issue in May last year, and following the expose, the government decided to scrap the deal made by the previous administration.

StarMetro reported on a tender notice by the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur Lands and Mines Office (PTGWP) on Jan 26, calling for bids to design and upgrade the 63.45-hectare Bohol flood retention pond in Seputeh for a housing project.

Following this decision, the Attorney General’s Chambers published a notice in the Federal Government Gazette on May 8, announcing the proposed revocation of the land reservation for public purposes under Section 64 (2) of the National Land Code (Act 828) for Lot 35309, measuring 24.79 hectares.

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DBKL , PTGWP , JPS , DID , Flood Retention Ponds , Land , Housing , Klpp2040 , Klsp2040

   

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