A site at Taman Wahyu in Kuala Lumpur currently occupied by three detention ponds was given by the government to a developer for a mixed-use project.
“During a meeting on 9 October, 2015, the Land Working Committee (UJKT) approved the change of ownership for 32.37ha of the land, where the ponds are, to a company for a mixed development project,” wrote Federal Territories Land Office Director Muhammad Yasir Yahya in an email.
Aside from taking into account the technical views of government agencies like the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the approval for the change of ownership was done via screening in terms of the area’s physical and social aspects, he explained.
“One of the main conditions in approving the change of ownership is that the function of the ponds remain to help with flood mitigation.” However, he declined to provide more details regarding the development to be built on the site.
However, Taman Wahyu Residents’ Association Chairman Ong Kean Eng and Kepong Community Service Centre Head Yee Poh Ping jointly held a recent press conference to object to the land sale and the project.
They pointed out that the developer is likely to fill up some of the ponds to make way for the mixed-use development, reducing their effectiveness in preventing floods.
According to Yee, 95 percent of the sites is underwater and five percent is land at the moment. “If the land is used for housing projects, then the ponds will definitely be filled. Then, where will the water flow to?”
Notably, the purpose of the Batu, Wahyu and Jinjang detention ponds are to temporarily hold water for a short period of time before it flows to the stream, while retention ponds hold water and stormwater runoff throughout the year.
Ong also heard that one of the ponds would be filled up. But he wants the site to be turned into a recreational area as promised by city hall a decade ago.
Image sourced from Post and Courier. Picture for illustration purposes only.
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