Residents, tenants up in arms over piling

Thirumurugan (standing) and Elangovan looking atpart of a wall where the cement has fallen off.

MORE than 200 tenants at Selayang Capitol shopping complex, including the management, have signed a petition calling for an immediate stop to piling work taking place opposite their building. 

The tenants claim that about 20 cracks had appeared on the walls since piling work for Selayang Point Condominium began in August last year. 

A portion of the wall near the staircase area at the second floor has also given way. 

Selayang Capitol owners Freestyle Capital have lodged three complaints with the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) about the damage caused by the piling. 

A stop-work order was issued for two days, but work resumed on the third day. 

Freestyle Capital director G. Thirumurugan said the MPS town planning and development department assistant director Affendei Samingan visited the shopping complex on April 19 when no piling work was being carried out.  

“When I showed him the cracks on the wall, he said the contractor who built our complex did not do a good job. 

“Then, we went to the construction site about 25metres away and asked them to start the piling machines, but the workers said one machine was under repair while another had broken down. 

“Immediately after the MPS engineer left, the contractors resumed piling,'' claimed Thirumurugan. 

Freestyle Capital general manager G. Elangovan said many of the tenants were worried about the strong vibrations that may cause the building to collapse. 

“Previously, there was no leakage from our roof but, lately, water seeps through every time it rains.  

“Once, a glass filled with water fell from a table when piling work was carried out. Our tenants are afraid that customers would stop visiting the complex due to safety reasons.  

“We have approached the council but it seems our pleas are falling on deaf ears,'' said Elangovan. 

A nearby resident, Thomas Samuel, who lives in Taman Sri Melati, said he could also feel underground vibrations whenever piling work was carried out.  

“I have been living here for 14 years and this is the first time the ground shook under my feet,'' he said. 

Meenachi Manickam, 58, who also lives nearby, said huge cracks had appeared on the wall of her house since the piling work began. 

During a recent visit to the site, councillor P. Kamalanathan was also rattled by the vibrations he felt while having lunch. 

“If this continues, there are chances this shopping complex might collapse. 

“I can only guess that the contactor does not want to fork out money to use piling methods which would not cause damage to nearby buildings and homes.  

“I will bring this matter to the MPS town planning department next week and propose that the piling work be stopped immediately,'' said Kamalanathan. 

Selayang Point Condominium developer Domain Point Sdn Bhd site representative Cheah Ban Huat assured Selayang Capitol tenants that they would not feel the vibrations as work had moved more than 50 meters from the shopping complex. 

“Besides this, we would appreciate it if the management of Selayang Capitol and residents record down the cracks on their buildings as we will notify our insurance companies to pay the necessary damages. 

“However, our surveyors have already recorded existing cracks and will compare these with evidence submitted by the residents and the shopping complex,'' said Cheah, who also said piling work would be completed by May 3.  

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