PETALING JAYA: The Batang Kali-Genting Highlands route will be closed for a year to facilitate hillslope repairs following the landslide that hit the area on Friday (Dec 16).
Works Ministry secretary-general Datuk Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman said that the Public Works Department would release a notice on alternative routes soon.
“Although the road (status) is okay, we do not dare to open it until slope repairs are done, which will take about a year,” he was quoted as saying in a Malay daily.
He added that ministry officials would also conduct in-depth studies at ground zero once search operations are completed.
He said the landslide was also not caused by road developments in the area, adding that it was a natural disaster due to accumulation of underground water.
“It is not due to illegal irrigation (developments) at the campsite, but the flow of underground water that we cannot see on the surface.”
He added that the Works Ministry also identified 1,045 dangerous slopes along federal roads in the peninsula.
“No developments are allowed there. These slopes are also in the red zone, which does not permit development,” he said.
A landslide came crashing onto Father’s Organic Farm campsite along the Batang Kali-Genting stretch in the wee hours of the morning, leaving 24 dead with nine victims yet to be found.
Rescue operations are still underway.