Additional illegal construction might be cause of landslide in Kemensah

Early investigation at the landslide found several additional construction structures were seen at the site that is beyond the authorities’ observation

by SHAFIQUL ALIFF / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

ILLEGAL constructions may be the cause of the landslide at the back of 19 terrace houses in Jalan Kemensah Heights, Ampang, Selangor, said Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.

He said early investigation at the landslide found several additional construction structures were seen at the site that is beyond the authorities’ observation.

“Those additional constructions were added beyond the authorities’ observation which may be violating the rules that have been set which may cause the landslide to happen.

“This happens during the construction time, they follow the rules and law but after the completion, there is some part that they added, so that is beyond the monitoring of the authorities,” he said during his visit at the landslide site yesterday.

Earlier, Selangor Deputy Director Fire and Rescue Department Wan Md Razali Wan Ismail said the landslide that occurred on Saturday was believed to be due to the movement of underground water flow after heavy rain in the area caused the soil structure to slide, blocking the flow of the river under the hill from continuing to flow.

Takiyuddin added that after the study report is submitted, the relevant agencies can apply for allocation from the federal and Selangor governments go follow-or follow-up action.

He also assured that preventive measures will also be held around the incident area, including nearby urban housing.

“I guarantee that preventive measures are not only taken at the site but in the city housing as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Department of Environment (DoE) DG Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaafar said he had visited the area with Environment and Water Ministry secretary general Datuk Seri Ir Dr Zaini Ujang and Selangor DoE director Nor Aziah Jaafar.

He said land work at the site had stopped following a stop-work order issued by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council on Sept 11.

“From site inspections and observation using drones, it was found that there were no control measures to contain erosion and sediment in slope areas that have been terraced by the developer,” he added.

Abdul Latif added Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and approved EIA report are required for any development or land clearing in an area with a slope greater than or equal to 25° but less than 35°.

He said for areas with a slope of 35° and above, there was no development except as permitted by the authorities and any party intending to carry out such activities shall conduct an EIA study and obtain the approval of the EIA report.

“DoE will take stern action against any party that carries out prescribed activities without any approval in accordance with Section 34A, Environmental Quality Act 1974 and if convicted, a maximum fine of RM500,000 can be imposed or imprisonment for a maximum of five years or both,” he said.

Separately, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the ministry will allocate RM1 million for the Drainage and Irrigation Department to carry out the river slope stabilisation works.

Tuan Ibrahim also said the total cost of upgrading the Kemensah River would cost up to RM10 million.