Monday, July 16, 2012

Nature lovers do their bit for Bukit Kiara

Source: (By VIJENTHI NAIR, photos By RAYMOND OOI, 16/7/2012)
KUALA LUMPUR: Nature lovers walked the talk by turning up in large numbers at Bukit Kiara to call for the green lung to be gazetted. Signatures were also collected for a petition during the one hour walk organised by the Friends of Bukit Kiara at 8am yesterday. The petition, among others, wants a stop to all construction work at Bukit Kiara. It will be submitted to Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung.
In October last year, the National Landscape Department started putting up a 3.5m-high fence along a 4.7km stretch as part of an upgrading project to demarcate the park and increase security for visitors. The construction, which is still ongoing, caused an estimated 3,000 mature trees to be felled, trails to be damaged and has affected water quality in the area.
Selangor Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) chairman Henry Goh said the gazetting was promised by the Federal Territories Ministry back in 2006 and is still pending. “There is a proposal to construct arboretums, buildings and cement lanes, as well as shop lots and a food court within the forest. “We are not against development but it should not be done at the expense of nature,” said Goh, who took part in the walk.
Others included MNS president Prof Dr Maketab Mohamed, Trails Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (Traks) president Scott Roberts, Global Environmental Centre (GEC) River Care Programme coordinator Dr K. Kalithasan, The Star group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng.
Chor had earlier explained that clearing work being done at Bukit Kiara was to ensure it stays a green lung reserve. He said the security fencing was built by the Landscape Department to protect the park from illegal encroachment.
He was also quoted as saying the paths were cleared to bring the equipment and material for the fencing. However, some residents had expressed concern that the clearing work was a prelude to commercial development.
Related news: Construction works in Bukit Kiara causing much damage to the hill

Friday, July 6, 2012

Danger lurks in Taman Sri Kuching playground

Exposed live wires pose threat to public
TROUBLE WAITING TO HAPPEN: Lim shows the switch box that has been neglected for a year. In the centre is Yap — Pix: Shahir Omar 
IN A MESS: The playground in a state of neglect
Residents of Taman Sri Kuching in Segambut are worried about wires jutting out from a Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) switch box at a playground near Jalan Selingsing 3.
The switch box fell off from its trap more than a year ago and nothing was done to address the problem. The playground was poorly maintained and has turned into a haunt for foreigners who sit around consuming alcohol at night.
A resident, Yap Yee Siam, 65, said the problems started after the switch box dropped from its trap. “A group of foreigners playing football had accidentally hit the switch box,” he said. “Since then, I consealed the box with canvas to prevent water from seeping through.”
Yap said residents fear for children’s safety while at the playground. “Many do avoid the fallen switch box but accidents can happen,” he said.
Yap said TNB staff visited the playground several times but there is no initiative to repair or replace the switch box. “In the morning, there are rubbish and beer bottles strewn all over the area,” he said.
Yap hoped the authorities will look into it to prevent any untoward incidents. Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng visited the playground yesterday and said he would check with City Hall.