GEORGE TOWN, Nov 1 — Constructions on hill slopes and elevated terrain can be made as safe as those on flat ground with proper measures, said a geotechnical expert today.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) geotechnical consultancy unit (GCU) adviser Chin Yaw Ming said all new projects must undergo stringent processes that cover planning, design, construction and maintenance before approval is given.
“The MBPP’s Safety Guideline for Hillsite Development 2012 has the mechanism for the implementation of the slope safety guideline,” he said in a press conference in Komtar today.
He added that comprehensive requirements on geotechnical reports for newly proposed hillsite developments were imposed to contain risks, while construction was also monitored to ensure compliance.
“This will prevent newly proposed developments to be a hillsite risk in the future,” he said.
He stressed that slopes that are properly designed and endorsed by professional registered engineers with experience in geotechnical engineering are safe.
Chin also said the MBPP started its slope safety initiative based on Hong Kong’s concept.
“The slope safety initiative is to contain hillsite risks from becoming higher and to mitigate existing hillsite risks to a lower risk level,” he said.
An example of mitigating hillsite risks was when the Public Works Department (PWD) identified 34 critical slopes in Penang island about five years ago, he said.
“Mitigation measures were proposed and the number of high risk slopes have reduced by now because PWD has done a lot of work to mitigate it,” he said.
The MBPP set up the GCU in 2014 and the unit is responsible for reviewing proposed geotechnical reports and monitor compliance during construction of development projects.