Yet another ‘botak hill’ raises alarm amongst Tanjung Bungah residents

 |Nov 9, 2017

GEORGE TOWN: Another ongoing hillslope development project in Persiaran Tanjung Bungah is causing sleepless nights for some of the nearby residents as they are still haunted by the Oct 21 landslide near here.

One of them, Tan Ewe Bee, 73, said the once tranquil area has now turned nightmarish each time it starts to pour, sending huge stones and boulders tumbling onto the road with gushing streams of water from the hills.

Tan who has been living in the area for more than a decade now, said he noticed the clearing works for the project more than a year ago and later found out that the project was going to become a high-rise condominium.

“This area was once very tranquil with lush greenery but has now become threadbare after the hills were cleared.

“It has been cut so much that the patch can be seen from some distance away,” he told reporters here today.

Tan revealed that the residents in the area had brought the matter to the attention of the DAP-led state government but was told that the project was approved by the previous government.

“Whatever it is, it is the responsibility of the the current state government to ensure the safety of residents staying near hillslopes regardless who approved the project,” he pointed out.

Checks showed that Tan’s claims were not unfounded as the ongoing clearing works is located less than a kilometre away from the luxury home project which collapsed in Saturday’s massive floods.

Adding on to their worry is the fact that their home is also located within a kilometre from the landslide location of Jalan Lembah Permai here which claimed eleven lives on October 21.

James Nunes, 68, another resident said he was shocked at the speed the project was taking shape.

“We have highlighted the matter to the state representative but nothing was done, and the project is still being carried out,” he said.

He stressed the need for proper monitoring by the parties involved to prevent untoward incidents especially another recurrence of the October 21 landslide.

“We really don’t want more lives to be jeopardised,” he said.

Meanwhile, Penang Citizen Awareness Group (Chant Group) adviser Yan Lee claimed that the project had destroyed the natural landscape there especially nature.

“The only thing visible is bald patches of hills which is a result of development project approvals in the area.

“Soon there will be no more greens, only botak (bald) hills,” he said. – MO