KUALA LUMPUR, October 9 – Residents have demanded Nova Pesona Sdn Bhd release all technical reports for its projects around Bukit Dinding after the property developer insisted it had complied with safety and environmental regulations needed to build more than a thousand chic condominium and villa units at the base of the popular but landslide-prone hiking spot.
Homeowners in nearby Wangsa Maju and Setiawangsa said the developer has so far refused to share them despite repeated calls to reveal the impact studies that have been cited to justify its development plans around the hills, which, according to the company, are safe despite incidents of landslides. reported before construction around the area had even begun.
Making the reports public is crucial so residents can independently verify them, said Izaidi Md Ismail, 61, a Section 5 Wangsa Maju resident and member of the local residents’ association. Izaidi was among dozens of owners who attended the meetings where they fought against the project.
Meetings have taken place between Nova Pesona, city hall officials (DBKL) and residents, the first in 2015 and the most recent in September.
“Representatives from so many ARs attended the meetings and we told them that we strongly oppose the project,” Izaidi said. malaysian mail.
“During both meetings, we asked for all the technical reports: the EIA (environmental impact study) report, the traffic impact assessment report, the social impact report and even the geological and soil survey report. Instead of providing them, they just told us ‘you can find everything on our website, it’s open source’,” he added.
“Some of us checked their website and couldn’t find the reports.”
Bukit Dinding, although just under 300 meters in length, is a popular recreation spot for the townspeople. But the lush hill – considered the tallest within the city limits – is also known to be prone to landslides, according to homeowners whose homes dot the surrounding areas.
Since news of the development plan surfaced, hundreds of concerned locals have been pressuring DBKL not to allow the project, fearing that development around the steep hill could exacerbate landslide problems. of existing land. The owners said they first heard of Nova Pesona’s plan to develop the area as early as 2013.
Izaidi said residents oppose the project for various reasons but are mostly worried about potential landslides. Landlord studies suggest that Bukit Dinding shares the same soil quality with other landslide-prone areas in Ulu Klang, including Bukit Antarabangsa where a major landslide occurred in 2008 and Ukay Perdana, where Highland Towers were built.
Built on the steep hill slopes around Taman Hillview, Ulu Klang, Selangor, Block 1 of the Highland Towers collapsed in December 1993 after a heavy downpour caused a major landslide. The tragedy killed 48 people.
“We’ve checked with the residents of those areas and they (Nova Pesona) keep singing the same tune (as other developers) about how they can make sure it’s safe and stuff. Then (landslides at) Bukit Antarabangsa, Taman Zooview and of course the Highland Towers happened,” Izaidi said.
“We’re worried. That’s why if they say it’s safe, we want a third party to verify these reports. We can’t wait until it’s too late, lives are already lost, so only the authorities will act.
malaysian mail could not independently verify the claim, but various incidents of soil erosion and landslides around Bukit Dinding have been well documented by locals. Some were filmed or filmed and shared on a Facebook page set up by a group called Friends of Bukit Dinding, founded by members of various surrounding residents’ associations.
A photo of a landslide that occurred in December 2021, taken and shared by a resident. The location would be close to plot 2 where Nova Pesona is expected to develop.
Bukit Dinding is located on land that was once a plantation. Its owners then branched out into real estate development following a common business practice among large plantation companies. As they own large tracts of land, much of it is later converted into housing and towns.
According to the Kuala Lumpur City Plan, large parts of Bukit Dinding have been designated for conservation, but the foothills have been zoned for “housing” as early as 1983. Only the top of the hill has been designated as an area of no -development.
Nova Pesona, a subsidiary of Tan & Tan Development Sdn Bhd, owns the largest plot of the five plots cut and zoned for “housing” there. All are owned by private developers.
For the first phase of its project, Nova Pesona plans to build a 300-unit condominium on six acres of Plot 2, Lot 26413, west of Bukit Dinding. This is the first phase of a project consisting of a total of 1,212 residential units including condominiums, townhouses and villas, among others. The EIA was approved in 2017, the company said.
Rimba Disclosure Project, a deforestation watchdog, said malaysian mail that large parts of Bukit Dinding have been classified as “highly” prone to landslides.
Nova Pesona, facing increasing scrutiny, said in a statement on September 28 that the building project it was undertaking there complied with all safety and environmental regulations, and that the EIA had been approved by the Ministry of Environment twice, first in 2004, followed by a second approval in 2017.
He also pointed out that he had held consultations with residents as required by Rule 5 of the Planning Amendment Rules 1994, a regulation made under the Planning Act 1982. federal territory, a crucial provision intended to allow owners of land adjacent to a proposed development to file objections.
Izaidi scoffed at the statement.
“Of course they would point it out but they should also have pointed out that the inhabitants of the consultation unanimously said no to the project. Instead, they infer that we gladly went,” he said.
DBKL has so far responded by saying it will block any development work at the foot of Bukit Dinding, but only until “the strategic communication session with residents is finalized”.