KL mayor: Study on Federal Hill section to address possible future landslides, erosion

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah speaks during an interview with Malay Mail at Menara DBKL in Kuala Lumpur January 12, 2022. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah speaks during an interview with Malay Mail at Menara DBKL in Kuala Lumpur January 12, 2022. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and its consultants were conducting an ongoing study on slope areas along the Lingkungan Negri Sembilan (LNS) at Federal Hill here, where landslides occurred last year.

The study on how to prevent future landslide or soil erosion incidents, according to KL Mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah, was initiated after the first landslide incident that affected residents of Jalan Limau Purut, an adjacent neighbourhood.

“The study is ongoing and it is conducted on all the slope areas along LNS, including these two sites — Jalan Limau Purut and Lorong Limau Manis — which experienced landslides on October 23 and December 18 respectively.

“This is our priority and we are aware of which areas have loose soil and which areas have soil that have better hold, we have a map and these are all recorded in the Kuala Lumpur Slope Information System (KULSIS),” Mahadi told Malay Mail during a recent briefing.

He was clarifying an earlier Malay Mail report in which residents of the LNS area had alleged inaction by DBKL to prevent the second landslide incident.

In the report, Bukit Bandaraya Residents’ Association together with pressure group Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur claimed that if DBKL had performed the required checks and maintenance works to the infrastructure of Bukit Persekutuan the landslide incident would not have happened.

Time needed for study

Mahadi said that before a thorough study on the area was completed, however, the second incident (Lorong Limau Manis) had occurred unexpectedly.

“Data collection is tricky and it takes time to ensure the highest accuracy in data collected
as there are many areas which need to be taken into account, for example, whether it is a rainy day or a dry day, the data collected varies.

“High traffic and no traffic during the lockdown periods, too, offer a different set of data reading.

“These are the several considerations that the consultants need to take into account when they collect data,” said Mahadi.

Mahadi said the appointed consultant for this study, Institute of Public Works Malaysia (Ikram), had been in the midst of presenting their findings on December 14, while the second landslide happened on December 18.

Due to the occurrence of the landslide, Mahadi said Ikram will have to remap the area and redo its study.

However, he gave his assurance a reasonable deadline was set for Ikram to complete the study.

“The studies were immediately carried out, so this means that we are aware and have taken the responsibility to ensure the safety of the residents in the affected areas.

“But we need to determine what were the factors which caused the landslide, whether it was due to the roads which cracked and what caused the cracks.

“There are many possibilities which caused the cracks on the road, but we cannot assume, that’s why we have to engage with a specialist to study the area,” he said.

At the same time, Mahadi said the soil must not be disturbed as it would affect the final result of the study.

On October 23, following heavy rain, a landslide hit LNS, Bukit Persekutuan, causing soil to wash down on several houses on Jalan Limau Purut.

Later on December 18, yet another landslide occurred in the vicinity of the first landslide site, affecting another neighbourhood on Lorong Limau Manis that was connected.

Residents from the surrounding neighbourhood have since expressed their concerns over future possible similar ‘disasters’ which could occur, calling for DBKL to carry out early prevention steps.

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