KUALA LUMPUR: The maxim that walls have ears has taken on a new meaning for Tina Phuah, whose house is at the fringe of a massive highway project.
There are cracks in the wall dividing her home and the neighbours and she can hear them talk through the gaps.
For the past two months, the 36-year-old homemaker has also been losing sleep over fears that her kitchen and babys room would collapse in the middle of the night.
Her kitchen has slightly tilted, with cracks, at least 2cm wide, appearing in the kitchen floor and walls.
I dont allow my one-year-old son to go into the kitchen; and my maid told me she hears cracking sounds whenever construction work (on the highway project) is in progress, said Phuah, who is expecting her second child.
Like most of the residents in Jalan 2/149K of the suburban Sri Petaling township, she blames it all on the nearby construction of the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya highway.
The RM1.3bil project starts from the Kampung Pandan roundabout and ends at the Federal administrative capital.
The stretch at Sri Petaling, which is about 1.25km long, will be an elevated structure and will connect to the exit of the Kesas Highway.
The residents want the highway re-aligned so that it does not run through their neighbourhood as, they feel, the construction work is too close to home for comfort.
On Sept 20, a group of residents gathered outside Parliament House where they met Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and also invited MPs to visit the site.
Accountant Lau Kien Foh, who acts as the spokesman, said they had sent letters and made calls to the authorities concerned but their appeals had been ignored.
KL City Hall (DBKL) told us that our housing estate was approved before the highway project was mooted and they cant do anything, he said.
Lau added that about 200 houses would be affected by the project and 15 families had already complained of cracks in their homes.
Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, who led a group of parliamentarians to the affected site yesterday, said DBKL should issue a stop work order on the project.
He suggested that DBKL officials meet the residents to resolve the issue because the construction work might pose a danger to them.
Shahrir, who chairs the government Backbenchers Club, said DBKL could invite independent bodies such as Ikram, (the former name of the KL Infrastructure University College), to verify damages that were caused by the construction and not because of extension works.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said DBKL should be more responsible and should have done better research before earmarking the land for housing.
DBKL officials were not available for comment.
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