Batang Kali landslide: Slope, road maintenance carried out according to schedule

PETALING JAYA: Slope and road maintenance in the area of the deadly Batang Kali landslide last year were carried out according to schedule, says a Works Ministry forensic report on the tragedy.

The report also concluded that the landslide which claimed 31 lives was caused by natural causes and not human intervention.

In an effort to reduce the risk of similar incidents, the report made several recommendations.

Among the suggestions that have been put forward in the report were proposed mitigation and prevention measures for implementation which include the development of a slope hazard and risk map for state roads which is similar to federal roads.

"On top of his regular inspections and maintenance of road assets should be carried out periodically," said the report.

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The report also suggested that the National Slope Master Plan (2009-2023) should be extended its implementation for the net 15 years to enhance an effective slope management plan in reducing risks and losses of property and lives due to multiple hazards and climate change.

The report said the development of Big Data Analytics using Advance Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology Systems was recommended to manage slope data comprehensively and integrate at all levels of stakeholders for informed decision-making.

Another recommendation by the report also suggests that the enforcement of the Act and Guidelines for Camping and Recreational Sites be strengthened.

The 143-page forensic report also suggested that the Works Department (JKR) Slope Engineering Unit be empowered to lead investigations in all landslide incidents.

On Dec 16 last year, a landslide struck the Father’s Organic Farm campsite along the Batang Kali-Genting stretch in the wee hours of the morning.

The tragedy involved 92 victims; 61 of them were successfully rescued while 31 others were killed.

Following the tragedy, a special committee known as the Landslide Working Group Committee (JKKTR) was established to carry out the investigation based on the National Slope Master Plan (PICN) 2009-2023 and the decision by Cabinet ministers.

The committee was led by the Slope Engineering Branch, JKR and was joined by other technical agencies such as the Department of Minerals and Geosciences Malaysia, the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia.

Along with the above, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Department of Meteorology Malaysia (METMalaysia), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and appointed professional bodies were also part of the committee.

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