A Penang Forum held yesterday chided the DAP-led state government for its lackadaisical attitude in solving the environmental and safety impact of hill development issues in Paya Terubong.
The non-governmental organisation represented the Taman Seri Rambai Residents association, voiced out the shortcomings of the massive earthworks taking place in their vicinity.
The residents association chairman Ti Lian Geh said the approval granted by the local council last December for a high-density development project comprising 41-storey and 47-storey tower blocks at Lebuh Rambai located in Paya Terubong is appalling.
“Despite some 3,000 residents are affected with the ongoing project, the Penang Island Municipal Council (MBPP) had granted approval to the developer for the conversion of the project.
“The original project was supposedly a three-storey townhouse development.
“Consequently, the increase in approved high-rise development and indiscriminate cutting of steep hill slopes had caused serious environmental and safety issues,”he said in a press conference yesterday at Paya Terubong community centre.
Checks show that initial earthworks at a massive scale had caused problems at the immediate vicinity such as damaged roofs, steep bare slopes and eroded soil turning into mud flows.
Dr.Ti said the rock blasting to expand the area of development had sent flying missiles that has damaged the roofs of existing houses terribly.
“The hill cutting has gone beyond 250 feet contour, with vegetation removed and steep bare slopes are exposed to soil erosion and gullying.
“Rain wash or heavy downpour of the eroded soil turned into mud flow hence increasing the occurrence of flash floods,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ti said five stop work orders under the grounds of mud slides, dust and rock blast have been issued to the developer by the authorities.
However, developers take advantage of the lack detailed local plans and taking liberties of flaunting site operations and building guidelines in the face of weak control and monitoring.
Ti claimed numerous complaints and memos have been submitted to the DAP-led state government office and MBPP to stop the endearing project but to no avail.
“We received no help from the member of parliament or the relevant authorities as of now and I hope this issue will be addressed soon,”he said.
Meanwhile, Bukit Gelugor member of parliament Ramkarpal Singh who was present at the forum today said the state will be its best to help the residents but did not elaborate further on the actions in the pipeline.