Give us back our green lung, residents plead with DBKL

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KUALA LUMPUR: Until just last week, residents in Continental Heights Condominium and Taman Gembira near Old Klang Road here enjoyed the green lung in their area, where birds flocked and foliage grew wild.

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On Dec 17 though, they lost their green lung. Now, residents associations in the two areas are appealing to the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) to halt the construction of a road and restore their green land, citing landslide concerns, the plummeting values of houses and the traffic woes they expect upon the road’s completion.

They submitted their petition, signed by nearly 100 residents, to DBKL today, explaining their concerns and protests over not being informed about the road’s construction until it had already begun.

The road is designed to provide access to the newly completed Residensi Gembira 737 condominium, developed by 737 Kheng Seng Holdings.

Speaking at a press conference, Yeo Heng Foo, a member of the Continental Heights Condominium residents’ association, said the construction of the road has already caused cracks in a wall bordering the construction.

“There are already some cracks developing near our building, so we are very concerned about the structural integrity.”

Another resident, Ms Wong, said they hoped this didn’t result in “another Highland Towers incident”.

Tamil Wanan, representing Taman Gembira residents, said that despite the condominium having 656 units, the access road was an “afterthought” and not in the original development plan, only receiving approval this year despite objection from residents.

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“This road will not just be for residents either, it will be open, which means the people coming from the main road to go Jalan Kuchai Lama will be using this street. This quiet Taman will suddenly become so noisy.”

Lee Chung Beng, a Taman Gembira resident who’d stayed in the area for over 20 years, said he’s had no luck trying to sell his home since moving to nearby Taman OUG.

“The sign has been up for over six months, but when people come, they look at all this construction and get turned off, the price of all the houses here have plummeted.

“When I first moved here, it was all jungle and we really enjoyed all the scenery. But now what do have? Nothing.”

In addition, after consenting to the widening of Jalan Selesa 12, the road was converted into a one way street against the wishes of the residents, who sent numerous letters objecting to the road’s conversion.

They hope it can be returned to being a two way street, as it causes confusion for drivers and raises safety concerns for those unfamiliar with the area.

Edmund Teoh, an aide to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who was unable to attend, said that her office is aware of the issue and would assist in any way it can, but added that it was up to DBKL to make its decisions.

“Our office has always been engaging with the residents’ associations, having consultations with DBKL, the developer and the residents.” – FMT

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