Unsafe temple demolished

Heavy machinery being used to demolish the Sivan Temple hall in Bukit Gasing.

Heavy machinery being used to demolish the Sivan Temple hall in Bukit Gasing.

THE Sivan Temple in Bukit Gasing, mired in controversy, has been demolished.

This includes the hall and the ornate tower on the roof of the two-level building.

The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had declared the temple building illegal as it was constructed without approved plans.

It was also said to pose a danger to the public as the building had affected soil stability and led to landslips.

The demolition order was given in the middle of last year and the temple committee was given the responsibility to oversee the matter to ensure religious sensitivities were observed.

“This huge complex was built without approved plans and MBPJ proposed that we demolish it as council engineers found the building structurally unsound,” said temple chairman T. Maharathan.

“We took the authorities’ advice and also removed all unwanted concrete structures that have weakened the slopes close to the entrance of the complex,” he said.

The complex overlooks Fraser Towers condominium and SMK Taman Petaling.

Beginning from 2006, the extensions to the complex have caused several landslips and a mud flow that brought down raintrees at Slope 9 (close to Fraser Towers) in May 2013 and which forced Jalan 5/60 to be closed after a thunderstorm.

StarMetro visited the Sivan Temple site and found that 90% of the huge complex had been demolished.

Workmen were seen breaking huge concrete slabs and carting away debris in small lorries, in view of the sensitive nature of the terrain.

Maharathan said consultants were monitoring the demolition work and ensuring neighbouring properties were not affected.

In a StarMetro report in February last year, Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad had assured the committee and devotees that the land on Bukit Gasing would remain for the Hindu temple.

She had said building plans must be submitted for the new temple and that MBPJ officers would facilitate the process.

The Sivan Temple is on state land, with the area gazetted as a green lung.

The temple has been there for more than 50 years.

Maharathan said the demolition exercise and clearing of debris would take another 25 days.

“Once completed, we will submit plans to MBPJ for a single-storey Hindu temple that will be smaller in size.

The hilltop will be landscaped and made conducive for devotees,” he added.

MBPJ Town and Country Planning Department and the Petaling Land Office will call for a public hearing to show the artist’s impression and building plans, as well as details for the land to be rezoned as a place for worship.

Currently, a temporary prayer place has been set up for devotees.