Updated with correction to name: Should read Chandra L. Ramprakash.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 – More than 50 families from the Scott Sentral Service Suites in Brickfields have left their homes, while the ones living in the apartment are experiencing anxiety on a daily basis ever since construction work on a 38-storey apartment began on a piece of land no bigger than a tennis court next door.
The story of the residents protesting the development of the controversial apartment is not new. There have been several protests for several reasons. For one, cracks have been appearing in the apartment building. Then there was the discovery that the apartment’s perimeter wall had been shifting inwards as piling works began.
Earlier, the issue of the apartment not having a driveway for cars due to its limited land space was a cause for concern. It will instead use a mechanical car park system of transporting occupants’ cars to the parking lots via lifts. This is expected to cause heavy traffic congestion and other problems on a narrow road already lined with many more apartments and other buildings.
“There should have been reasonable breathing space for the people living here. We have been sending letters of protest after protest. It began in 2015, when a board suddenly appeared on the small parcel of land next door, detailing the plans to build a 32-storey building. We were never consulted. We protested and the next thing we know, another board comes up saying that it will now be a 38-storey building.
“Without a driveway, the cars will be parked by the use of two lifts and this will limit the number of cars that can be parked at one given time. This will end up congesting an already narrow road, with cars waiting to be “lifted” up during peak time, as this is a 38-storey building and there will be a sizable number of cars to be parked,” said the Chairman of Scott Sentral Service Suites Residents Association, Chandra L.Ramprakash.
“But that is not all. Since the cracks started appearing, some residents have moved out, fearing the worst. The latest is the burst water pipe underground caused by the works next door. This burst pipe has now been causing higher water bills for the apartment, while water has been pooling up at the construction site. This is not good for both the apartments, as this will certainly weaken the structures.
Asked on the meeting with DBKL, on Thursday, Dec 29, Chandra said he was not too hopeful, considering the past meetings.
“We have been summoned for a meeting with the Dewan Bandaraya of Kuala Lumpur. This, we believe is because the developer of the apartment next door wants us to allow them to come into our premises to repair the burst water pipe. This is not about helping us. This is about helping the developer. We are not so hopeful of the outcome, as in all earlier counters with the DBKL, there was more support for the troubles of the developer than the residents already living here.
“We had earlier gone to see the DBKL with proof of cracks on the lower ground of our buildings. Proof of the shift and crack in our perimeter wall. The wall has and continues to shift inwards, with the widening space clearly seen. It is more than just structural now. DBKL has not really helped us. None of our efforts have paid and instead when we last saw them, they asked us to resolve the matter with the developer.
“The developers and land owners have not been available to talk. They keep sending the contractors. Now they want to repair a broken pipe only because it is leaking into their area as well. This is not about repairing or fixing a broken pipe. It is more than that. What about the cracks, the shifting wall?
“DBKL also said they had no expertise to check on the shifting wall.
“There are so many unanswered questions. First of all, why are they asking us to speak to the contractor? Why did they, in the first place, approve such a controversial building on a piece of land that is not much bigger than the size of a tennis court? Who are these developers? It is almost like DBKL is keen on protecting them than the ordinary residents living in fear of a repeat of the Ukay Heights landslide tragedy?
“Should we wait till a tragedy takes place? I believe only the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim can help us.”