Taman Bukit Bayu residents are seeking confirmation on whether a plot of land near Bukit Bayu at Section U10 in Shah Alam is owned by the Selangor state government or a private property developer, reported The Star.
This is because there are now two signboards claiming ownership over a piece of land at the entrance of Bukit Cerakah Forest Reserve trail next to Bukit Bayu. The state authorities installed theirs last June after residents alerts them about land clearing in the area, while that from the developer was only put up recently.
“The state government put up its signboard after we had a press conference with Kota Anggerik Assemblyman Najwan Halimi. We thought it was the end of that issue until activity began at the site a week ago,” said resident Nazri Elias.
At the same time, the property developer installed an information board on the site, indicating the name of the firms undertaking the project. They also put up fences to prevent people from accessing the forest area, which is frequented by hikers and nature enthusiasts.
Consequently, residents of Taman Bukit Bayu fear that the forest would be destroyed, while the animals living there could lose their home.
“This area borders the Bukit Cerakah Forest Reserve and the animals roam free here. Many enter the residential areas, too,” noted Nazri.
According to Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) Selangor Chairman Damien Thanam, the forest is the habitat of several protected species, like tapirs, gibbons and Dusky Leaf monkey. Aside from that, the flora and trees mitigate flooding.
“We need to look at the long-term impact caused by development. The place is popular with families and a good educational spot. It should be preserved,” he insisted.
Nazri said they are worried over the fast pace of construction work at the site. They also asked if the developer has carried out a recent environmental impact assessment (EIA), as the last one in the area was conducted in 2005.
Damien and Nazri revealed the aforementioned information during a site visit and press conference with Najwan, Shah Alam Councillor Ghandimathi Suppiah and staff from the office of Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.
After confirming with local authorities, Najwan elucidated that the land is privately owned. However, it’s not yet known if the owner had forked out a premium payment.
“If the premium has not been paid, the government has every right to confiscate the land. The residents want to know if the law has been adhered to and whether they have encroached on government land,” he explained.
Furthermore, Ghandhimathi revealed that the property developer had secured the needed permits from Shah Alam City Council’s Planning and Engineering departments.
“I will check on the processes that were done to obtain the approvals,” she said, adding that Shah Alam authorities want to strike a balance between development and protecting the environment.
Image source: The Star
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