SRI Petaling residents, who have been protesting against the building of a highway near their homes due to safety reasons, now have their worst fears confirmed.
Cracks have begun to appear in their houses, which they believe is caused by piling work being carried out on the site.
Resident C.Y. Ng who lives in Jalan 2/149K, said huge cracks have appeared in his kitchen and wash area.
“They basically started appearing in July just about the time when work on the highway started and it is getting worse by the day,” he said.
Ng’s neighbour Phuah Thian Teek said cracks started appearing in his kitchen a few weeks ago.
“In some areas, the cracks have become bigger until you can see right through them,” he said.
“I am terrified that, one day, it is all going to come crashing down,” added Phuah.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who visited the houses recently said that most of the residents paid a large sum of money to buy their dream homes.
“Apart from that, they have also spent a lot of money on renovation, so it is not fair to them. Some compensation is due,” she said.
Resident Lau Kien Foh, who lives at Jalan 1/149K, said from the beginning the Sri Petaling Residents Association has been protesting that the highway project was dangerous.
“The lives of more than 1,000 residents are at stake here as the authorities concerned have failed to comply with certain rules and regulations when approving the project,” he said.
“The two metre setback of the elevated highway from houses is insufficient as a buffer for safety to residents.
“The sheer proximity of the highway has created an unsafe environment to residents during construction and operation stage,” he said.
So far, the residents have staged a peaceful demonstration protesting the project and they have even passed a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s office voicing their concerns.
A dialogue between residents and the Malaysian Highway Authority was recently held to clear matters but MHA was unable to answer most of the residents’ queries.
“We want a solution to this problem. So far Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has not seen us but we will not rest until something is done,” said Lau.
Seri Petaling Residents Association President K.S. Wong said that the residents would be writing to the PM’s office requesting him to intervene.
“We will also seek professional opinion from various organisations regarding the viability of the project,” he said.
The project is the KL-Putrajaya highway that starts from the Pandan roundabout and ends in Putrajaya, passing through the Sri Petaling area.
The stretch in Sri Petaling, which is about 1.25km long, will be an elevated structure built on Jalan 2/149, which is only 33m wide.
Residents are arguing that the elevated highway will be a six-lane carrier and is only a mere two metre away from the existing residential homes. Residents pointed out that according to Public Works Department guidelines, a highway required a minimum width reserve of 60m.