KUALA LUMPUR: City Hall (DBKL) has been asked to explain why demolition work for a 34-storey apartment project has been allowed at Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar, when traffic and environmental assessment reports have yet to be submitted.
Demolition work had been put on hold just a day earlier after complaints by residents to DBKL’s building control department about workers hacking the walls of one of the houses, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said.
The residents and Save KL Coalition (SKL) had said it was not right for the developers to begin demolition work as a dilapidation survey had yet to be conducted.
However, checks by FMT yesterday found that hoardings had been put up on the land, with at least two excavators working there.
The once serene housing area is now filled with the noise of demolition work, while the vacant double-storey bungalow that once stood on one of the two plots of land has been flattened.
The demolition was said to have continued until 6pm, when such work in residential areas is supposed to stop by 5pm.
“DBKL has to explain,” Fahmi said, when contacted by FMT.
FMT has also reached out to DBKL’s planning division for comment, although it is understood that City Hall had issued the demolition permit.
SKL chairman M Ali said there was an agreement by the developer that it would submit fresh traffic, environment and social impact assessments as well as a geotechnical report before any work could start.
“Enough with DBKL’s ‘KL city for all’ slogan. Have a caring heart and come down to the ground, please,” he said, adding that the demolition would not just be noisy and chaotic but could lead to “disasters”, too.
T Ksharmini, a resident who has been working with SKL in opposing the development, said she was informed that the developer had obtained the demolition permit some time last week.
She was told the dilapidation survey, which is needed before a permit can be issued, had been completed, and that it looked as if DBKL had approved the study.
Residents are also miffed over how the developer went about the dilapidation survey. They claim work started on Tuesday but they only received a copy of the survey a day later.
Ksharmini told FMT that a resident of one of the houses wedged between the developer’s two plots of land had already complained of tremors and dust when demolition began. The resident had also turned down being a part of the dilapidation survey due to a miscommunication.
“When they approached her for the dilapidation survey, they just asked if they could see the cracks in her house. They didn’t say it was part of the survey, that’s why she rejected it,” she explained.
“So, I told the developer that they must write and reach out to every resident, make an appointment and set it in black-and-white that you want to do a dilapidation survey.
“We want to know (how the demolition permit was approved). We also want to know what precautions and safety measures have been taken.”
Jalan Abdullah houses some of the oldest remaining residential properties in Bangsar, comprising mostly bungalows and semi-detached houses. Most of the properties were built between 1929 and 1940.
Residents have been protesting against the proposed 32-storey apartment project for more than a year now. They claimed they had not been consulted.
At the latest meeting between stakeholders on March 27, they were informed that the development was now a 34-storey, 180-unit serviced apartment.