33 houses demolished for river widening project

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

Remnants of the squatter houses demolished during the operation at Paya Jaras Hilir, Sungai Buloh in Selangor on Wednesday (Sept 18).

SUNGAI BULOH: Squatters in Paya Jaras Hilir, Sungai Buloh were left homeless when enforcement officers from the Petaling Land and District office (PTDP) demolished their houses on Wednesday (Sept 18).

"The operation, which began at 4am, saw 33 homes demolished, with additional 59 to be demolished at a later date.

It was estimated that 500 residents would be affected once all the houses are demolished."

Water and electricity supplies were also cut off prior to the operation.

The squatter houses were reportedly being demolished to begin the widening of the adjacent Sungai Kedondong to support increased water capacity in the river during downpours.

The residents' committee chairman Muhammad Ichsan Abdul Manaf said the residents did not have enough time to relocate.

“We were not provided temporary shelter, nor were we offered any compensation.

“We were advised to purchase low-cost houses under the 'Rumah Selangorku' programme, priced at RM42,000, which were supposed to be built in Aman Putri, Kuala Selangor.

“However, construction of the project has not even begun at the proposed site,” he said.

The neighbourhood, which began mushrooming in the mid-1980s, was divided into four plots – A, B, C and D.

According to Muhammad Ichsan, all the houses in plot A had grants, while some houses in the other plots were built on state land.

A check by StarMetro showed that houses in plot A remained intact.

Muhammad Ichsan added that notice for relocation was first served in 2016.

“Luckily, the Paya Jaras assemblyman at the time, Mohd Khairuddin Othman, managed to secure a delay to enable residents to relocate.

“However, on Aug 5 this year, we were served with another notice from PTDP to vacate our homes.

“We sent a letter to Khairuddin on Aug 7 to request for further delay. However, we did not receive any reply.”

The residents' committee deputy chairman Noor Syahida Abd Basit said the committee then met with Sungai Buloh MP Sivarasa Rasiah on Aug 29, who promised to try to secure another delay until Dec 31.

“We were told that only plot D, which had four houses, would be demolished.

“However, on Sept 13, a representative from the MP’s office informed us that they were unable to secure a further delay and that demolition would be carried out on Sept 18.

“We urge compassion from the authorities to wait until all the residents could relocate.”

Noor Syahida added that PTDP officers helped the residents to move their belongings outside prior to demolishing their homes.

On allegations that some of the residents in the neighbourhood are not Malaysian citizens, Noor Syahida denied it.

"People here are registered voters of Paya Jaras and original settlers here."

Meanwhile, residents' committee member Miftahuddin Jefyani said tents were erected at a vacant lot in the neighbourhood to provide temporary shelter for the homeless residents.

At press time, StarMetro was still trying to contact PTDP and the Paya Jaras assemblyman for comment.

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