Residents show disapproval for housing project at Bohol pond site

ABOUT 200 Klang Valley folk gathered at Kampung Bohol flood retention pond in Kuala Lumpur to protest the redevelopment of a crucial flood mitigation site into a housing project.

Grappling with crutches, S. Sivakumar, 53, took over 40 minutes to walk under the hot sun and across muddy fields to reach the protest site from his unit at the Kampung Muhibbah People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Kuala Lumpur.

“I had to come and support because we at PPR Kampung Muhibbah are affected too.

“While we may not be flood victims, we have been victims of congestion because of overdevelopment.

“Every day, it is a struggle for an able-bodied person to navigate traffic, and it is worse for people like me,” he added.

Salmah Hamdan, 63, a resident of Taman Kinrara in Selangor, said her house was hit by floods in December 2021, March 2022 and again in December 2023.

“I lost thousands of ringgit, my furniture, my refrigerator, everything was destroyed in the 2022 flood.

“After repairing everything, we were hit again.

“Now they want to build more houses here. I will have none of it,” said Salmah.

Similarly, Guy Rozario, 63, who lives in Puchong, had been a victim of floods three times and had lost thousands of ringgit in damaged property and belongings.

“This area is a flood hotspot. The government should not be building houses on flood retention pond land.

“Use some common sense, please,” Rozario said.

StarMetro reported on a tender notice by Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur Lands and Mines Office (PTGWP) calling for bids to design and upgrade the 63.45ha Bohol flood retention pond in Seputeh for a housing project.

Following this decision, the Attorney General’s Chambers published a notice in the Federal Government Gazette on May 8, announcing the proposed revocation of the land reservation for public purposes under Section 64 (2) of the National Land Code (Act 828) for Lot 35309, measuring 24.79ha.

Among the 200 protesters were a Joint Committee to Preserve the Bohol Flood Retention Pond group.

Its spokesperson Datuk Ng See Eng said the group represented 36 residents associations, Rukun Tetangga sectors, non-governmental organisations and residents living in the vicinity of the pond.

“We are here to oppose any form of development of the pond.

“We want the government to upgrade and maintain it as a flood mitigation reservoir.

“They are going to build about 5,000 housing units here.

“We want the pond custodian, the Drainage and Irrigation Department, the landowner Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Federal Territory Department to stop all approvals for this development,” Ng said.

He also urged residents of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor to attend an objection hearing on May 20, between 9am and 4pm, at the Federal Territory Office of the Director of Lands and Mines on the second floor of Federal House in Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, Kuala Lumpur.

“Please attend and voice your objections. It is our only chance to voice out since we were never given a chance to speak out earlier,” he said.

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