Thursday, May 1, 2014

Trees felled at Kiara Park


TREE-felling activities in the Taman Rimba Kiara recreational park in Kuala Lumpur has sparked anger among residents.
Taman Tun Dr Ismail Resident Association secretary Margaret Lee said on Monday park-goers who witnessed trees being cut down had questioned the contractors, who answered that they were following orders from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“When I contacted the Segambut DBKL for answers, the area manager Marwan Che Desa said the trees were old and diseased.
“Tens of trees have been chopped down unnecessarily. Even if the trees are old and diseased, DBKL should let nature take its course.
“There is no danger of trees falling onto properties or a threat to the peoples’ safety,” she said.
Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) vice-president Henry Goh said the trees in Taman Rimba Kiara were forest species and looked perfectly healthy with no visible signs of being infested with termite.
“The authorities must provide a good reason why so many trees were felled in a short time span. Further felling should be stopped,” he said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said the damage was done and wanted to know how DBKL was going to rectify it.
“Will the stumps remain here or be removed. Will the felled trees be replaced with new ones?” he asked.
British couple Alan Jeffrey and Sarah Carol, who are frequent visitors to Malaysia, expressed their disappointed with the action by the authorities.
“We own a property here and really enjoy the environment. This park is also home to beautiful birds like Brahminy Kite, Bee-eaters, Crested Serpent Eagles and even Hornbills.
“At the rate the trees are being felled in this area, where are the birds going to nest?
“Back in my country, we cannot even trim our trees without a permit, and if we do, we will be heavily fined,” Jeffrey said.
“We have been coming here for the past 20 years for the beauty of the natural surrounding. It is sad sight to see the destruction,” Carol said, adding that the problem was partly due to the bad weather.
Resident Ahmad Kamil Abdullah, who is a photographer, said the park was a beautiful spot for garden weddings.
“With more trees being chopped down, the scenery will definitely change. We have heard rumours of a development coming up here. I hope it is not true,” he said
Another resident Fiona Zuzartee said in 2000 the area was one of 152 locations in Malaysia that participated in the ‘Millennium Tree Planting’ project that entered The Malaysian Book of Records for successfully planting 110,461 trees in one minute.
“Hundreds of trees were planted. I am not sure if these were felled,” she said.
On the issue of installation of barbed wires at two locations close to a popular cycling trail in nearby Bukit Kiara, Lim said it had been dismantled.
The authorities at the National Landscape Department, he said, had explained to him that the barbed wires were a temporary measure until they resolved a boundary issue at the time.
“It is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Clearly the department has hired unproffesional contractors for the park,” Lim added.
DBKL could not be contacted at press time.

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