Thursday, June 3, 2010

Houses-cum-restaurants irk neighbouring folk

Favourite spot: Residents believe the diners will follow the restaurants since the food is reported to be quite tasty.

Source: (By PRIYA MENON, Photo by ART CHEN, 3/6/2010)

A FEW terrace house owners along Jalan Dutamas Raya in Kuala Lumpur are turning their homes into illegal eateries, and this is creating a host of problems for neighbouring residents. For more than five years now, several house owners along Jalan Dutamas have redecorated their backyard, turning them into cosy restaurants, feeding hundreds of people each day. It began with a nasi lemak stall that operates from morning till mid afternoon and many soon followed suit. The youngest member of the illegal restaurants is a mamak stall that operates 24 hours. It is also the biggest yet. A resident from Prima Duta who wished to remain anonymous said he has lodged many complaints with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) but no action was taken against them. To make matters worse, access into their condominiums are always blocked as cars are triple parked along the roads. “We can’t even get out sometimes, they (restaurants) have no control over the traffic so their customers park everywhere,” he added.

A resident who wanted to be known as Mrs. Lim said congestion is really bad during rush hour as cars are parked haphazardly along the road. Those who stop by the restaurants for breakfast have total disregard for the neighbours, forcing cars to spill on to the oncoming traffic. Since the restaurants mushroomed, floods have become a recurring nightmare as the drains are clogged with rubbish. Mrs Lim also said during the quiet hours at night, she could hear the clanging of pots and pans at the restaurant. “At night when it is really quiet, you can hear them cooking away especially the mamak stall since they operate 24 hours a day,” she added. The anonymous resident said they had no personal vendetta against the restaurants but they feel they should be relocated to a better location. “If you place them at a proper place, their diners will definitely follow them because the Nasi Lemak is really good,” he added.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said he has received constant complaints from the residents over the years. Lim has forwarded the complaints to the DBKL but did not receive a satisfactory reply. “They said they will allow the restaurants to operate because they are in the midst of shifting them to another location. “However, this is unacceptable because they are still illegal. If there are illegal vendors or squatters DBKL would immediately tear down the place so why are these three restaurants getting special treatment?” he asked.

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