KUALA LUMPUR: City Hall (DBKL) has suspended work on a high-rise site next to the Bandaraya LRT station pending an investigation into cracks in a pier supporting the Ampang LRT line.
Last Friday, Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd stopped trains from passing the station after the tracks became bent following movements in the concrete segment supporting the rail.
From the ground below, observers saw cracks on the upper parts of the pier, which is a reinforced concrete structure that sits within Sungai Gombak.
In a statement yesterday, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah said he had met with representatives from the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) and Prasarana, along with several departments within DBKL last Saturday.
After the meeting, DBKL issued a stop-work order on a 44-storey building with one basement on land owned by Persekutuan Seruan Islam (Jam’iyah) Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan, with the development executed by a private limited company.
“This order is made as a precaution to ensure Apad and related agencies can conduct their investigations into the cause of the incident,” said Mahadi, who added the project is only at the “preliminary stage”.
A visual examination of the pier, sandwiched between a DBKL office block and the Gombak river, found that cracks had developed at the upper part of the pier that holds up the concrete segment that in turn supports the rail.
Efforts involving multiple stakeholders are ongoing to determine what contributed to the failure of the pier, which has disrupted services between the Masjid Jamek and Bandaraya stations, a distance of 900m by foot.
A Prasarana technical team visited the construction site yesterday to obtain further information about the work that took place there.
Last Friday, Apad pointed out that the said development took place “without prior consultation with Apad”, in breach of a requirement under the Railways (Railway Protection Zone) Regulations 1998.
Depending on site context, a railway protection zone in Malaysia extends several metres from the edge of the rail or pier or rail tunnel, and any work within these areas, even if on privately-owned land, requires Apad approval.
The bent rail was discovered after a train driver reported unusual vibrations when passing through that part of the network, which opened for service in December 1996, implying the pier should be at least 30 years old.
The Star has reached out to the developer, but it has yet to respond as at press time.