Saturday, November 28, 2009

Residents live in constant fear

Dangerous: The bad state of the ceiling at Vijayakumaran’s house. Not safe: The crack outside Baskaran’s wall.
Source: (Story and photos by PRIYA MENON, 28/11/2009)
6 families living in Jalan Udang Gantung 2 Taman Sri Cuepacs, Segambut, are ready to pack up and move out after nearly 30 years and it all boils down to fear. For the past one week, their double-storey terrace homes had suffered from various forms of damage, that one would wonder where to begin. With cracks on the walls and ceiling, sink holes and floors are some of the problems plaguing their houses, the families are living in fear of the houses collapsing. A house owner, A Rethinanah, 56, had placed several mattresses in her hall, where the cracks are just beginning to show while bags had been packed away for emergency evacuation. Another resident P.Baskaran, 46, is looking for a new house, as he is worried about his wife who recently had a fall and injured her spine. “My wife can’t walk and should anything happen to the house while I am away, how is she suppose to save herself?” he asked. Another resident, R, Vijayakumaran, 47, whose house showed the worst cracks said he had removed all the furniture in the house ever since the cracks got worse. “My kitchen area is horrible, there is a sink hole near the back door and none of us can close our doors anymore,” he added.
The residents believe, the source of the problem was at the back of their homes where a collapsed drain lies. Five years ago, a similar problem occurred and Baskaran’s father lodged a complaint with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). “They (DBKL) came and did a surface job only,” he added. The water from the drain flows underneath the collapsed section causing it to wash away the soil. Baskaran and his neighbours have put a four-inch pipe to ensure the water flows through it instead. Baskaran also said when he stomped on the floor near his dining room, it sounded hollow. He said despite numerous complaints to the City Hall, the officers merely took pictures and left. “We want a solution to this problem. Everyone comes and goes without giving us any answers, how can we leave for work in peace with all these problems,” he said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said the residents should hire engineers to find the source of the problems. “According to them the drainage system behind their homes was not done properly. “So a professional evaluation is needed to ascertain the real problem,” he said.

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