Siapa sangka semasa Planet Krypton hampir musnah JOR-EL telah melepaskan sebuah lagi kapal angkasa selepas KAL-EL yang berjaya mendarat di Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Anaknya ini dinamakan Syahr-El...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Save Taman Melawati Hill

Location of Phase 3 Hill @ Taman Melawati

Being a resident since 1977 (still consider myself one although I have moved to BA, my dad is still there), growing up (unfortunately not schooled) and spending most of my life at Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur, formerly known as KL's Hollywood, I feel obliged to convey this message to preserve the Phase 3 hill (which is indeed just behind my dad's house). Please, help keep this beautiful part of the city green. Sign the online petition HERE.

The following was taken from the campaign site, SAVE TAMAN MELAWATI HILL.

"The hill in Phase 3, belongs not just to the residents of Taman Melawati, but is a favourite picnic, walking, jogging and exercise spot for people even from neighbouring Taman Permata, Taman Melati, Wangsa Melawati, Wangsa Maju, Bukit Antarabangsa and Kemensah Heights.

Old driving range at the base of the hill

It is a much enjoyed and needed green lung and should stay that way, untouched. The Taman Melawati Hill has many mature trees and is home to many birds and animals like monkeys and squirrels. They have this green oasis to live in after the rest of Taman Melawati was developed. It would be a selfish act to cover every bit of remaining land with concrete.

Development needs to be balanced with the environment and should benefit everyone; Not just to a select few who can purchase 2-3 million Ringgit bungalows. We, the residents of the areas surrounding the hill in Phase 3 , strongly object to the proposed development because it poses a clear and present danger for our safety and the safety of families and properties.

This is what we're fighting for

Development of the hill will rob us of our ecological heritage which should rightly be preserved not just for us, but for our children and future generations. We urge you to help save the hills of Melawati, and the lives of residents in the surrounding area, which will be endangered by the proposed development project. Join us in voicing our appeal.

So why are we doing this? True, we all did move in to Taman Melawati and did not oppose development then, only because there was still a lot of green areas then. That is why many of us chose to live in Taman Melawati instead of say, Petaling Jaya. Some of the reasons for opposing the proposed development include:

  1. The hill is on elevated land in an area that has been gazetted by the Selangor state government as "kawasan sensitif alam sekitar"(KSAS). Many parts of the hill has gradients exceeding 35 degrees This is a blatant violation of guidelines published by the (then) Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment in 2002, there should be NO development in areas where the gradient is more than 35 degrees. In areas between 26-35 degrees, an EIA report is required.
  2. The Taman Melawati Hill has had areas of recorded earth movement. In 1987, 2 semidetached houses located on a slope at Jalan G1 collapsed. In 2002 there was a landslide on another part of Jalan G1 that buried 2 cars. Luckily no one was hurt. There are many areas on this hill where there is soil erosion, even before any development where the present houses even took place. Once the trees are cut and the land cleared of ground vegetation, for development, there will be nothing to hold the soil. There will be soil erosion and what we fear most, landslides.
  3. The hill is part of the Hulu Klang area where the soil condition is unstable and prone to landslides. There have been many landslides in neighboring areas due to indiscriminate development. One such incident occurred in 2002 when a landslide at Taman Hillview killed a whole family of 8 and most recently in 2006 at Kg Pasir which killed 4 people.

Coverage of this issue by the TV3 News Channel on the 11th of August 2007 showed scenes of local residents enjoying the surrounding landscape by taking strolls and practicing Tai Chi on the hill. We received an email stating that the local residents are only interested in preserving the hill for their personal recreation and our actions in attempting to stop the proposed development should be deemed as a selfish act. It is unfair to refer to the residents as selfish when they are just trying to protect their lives and homes.

As indicated above, people have actually died all in the name of development. How many more lives must be sacrificed in the name of "development" We are not opposing development per se, but we are against indiscriminate development which will endanger lives and the environment. There is a proposed development near Desa Melawati but we are not opposing that project because it is on fairly flat land at the bottom of the hill.

When soil is washed off the hill, it will eventually end up in the streams and rivers causing stagnation and floods during heavy rains. You may think that this development will not affect you but next time you are stuck in a traffic jam because some road or area is flooded, think about what is happening on Melawati Hill and all the other hill areas that is being cleared.

The developer and local authorities may appease us with arguments that all mitigating measures to ensure "minimum effect on the environment" will be carried out. They may come up with an impressive array of "engineering solutions" to protect the slope and the environment. They may say this is only a "low density development" that will not affect earth movement. However, building 167 houses will involve considerable land clearing. We only need to see the devastation on nearby Amber Hill near Kemensah area where they levelled the hill and did not leave a single tree behind, to show that "low density development" does not mean low impact on the environment. A lot of the soil from that development ended up in the stream leading to the Klang river.

The Taman Melawati Resident's Association (TMRA) hopes that we all open our minds and our hearts to what we can contribute to our environment and the community. We may not be able to save the whole planet but we could start with our own neighborhood."

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