Friday, May 23, 2008

Sg Kayu Ara

Amazing sight of squatter colonies, illegal makeshift steel bridges, untreated sewarage,
rubbish deposits, retained waters... it's like a different world

Construction debris, uncompleted embankments choking the river

All choked up...
(Pics courtesy of The Star)

I took The Star reporter on a tour of the Sungai Kayu Ara right at the border of my Petaling Jaya Utara constituency with the Subang parliamentary constituency 2 weeks back. Many of those staying in PJ probably don't know much about the river, unless you actually stay right next to it, but having been taken on tours on various parts of the the river by residents, it is a river which brings crime, health, flooding and other environmental problems to the city as a whole.

Have a read at the Star report here (excerpts below), and I'll try to upload more photos later.
River silting has become a major concern as it leads to flash floods and other social, environment and health problems. StarMetro visits Sg Kayu Ara in search of the real issues behind the siltation.

THE Sg Kayu Ara river in Petaling Jaya meanders through the city passing through residential districts and wellknown commercial landmarks.
Not complete: The embankments are either half complete or inadequate.

Yet what should be a seamless flow is blocked; heaps of rubbish piled up on the surface with construction rubble and earth lining the riverbanks.

During a visit to four sites along the river together with Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, we witnessed more than just river silting. The greater concern was the social and environmental impact the condition posed.

Further upstream we came across a settlement made up of mainly foreigners who had built wooden houses along the riverbank.

The foreigners have also illegally built bridges over the river to be linked to another colony.

Pua said most of these foreigners might even claim to have land titles since they were bold enough to build the houses.


Moving on to the second site in Jalan Jenjarom Damansara Jaya, further shock greeted us in the form of another foreign settlement clinging onto a hill slope well hidden from the main view of the roads.

The hill slope was also treated as a dumpsite with rubbish everywhere.

“I'm shocked to see this. This place reminds me of the 1970s Vietnamese refugee camp in Sg Besi! It's shocking to learn that we still have problems like these in an upmarket city like Petaling Jaya,” said Pua.

At the third site near Kg Chempaka in Taman Mayang, res-taurant operator Loke Moon Hoong, who has been running his business there for the past 30 years, said the surrounding area had experienced floods three times in the last two months.

“The worst flood was as high as two metres,” said Loke.
More importantly, we are in discussions with MBPJ and the Police to form a task force to deal with the issues and problems which arises out of the alien ecosystem of Sg Kayu Ara.
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