Legal loophole that let ‘other water’ to swamp Taman Sri Muda - EDISI SIASAT

Legal loophole that let ‘other water’ to swamp Taman Sri Muda

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Legal loophole that let ‘other water’ to swamp Taman Sri Muda
The massive flooding in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam may have been due to existing drainage systems swamped with waste and runoff water from new developments. (Bernama pic)

Legal loophole that let ‘other water’ to swamp Taman Sri Muda

PETALING JAYA: A legal loophole might have led to the massive flooding in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, last month, with existing drainage systems swamped with waste and runoff water from new developments.

There are no laws to prevent developers of new projects from using existing drainage systems, said lawyer Sachpreetraj Sohanpal.

The Taman Sri Muda residents association told FMT recently that there were drains leading to their irrigation canal from newer developments in the area, and water from other upstream areas had amounted to triple the volume that their area’s drainage system was designed to handle.

Sachpreetraj said the law required all new buildings to have drains to carry away water from the area as specified by the local authority. However, water from buildings that are adjacent to existing ones can be carried off by “a combined operation” if the local authority approves.

He said developers of new projects must have approval from the irrigation and drainage department (DID) but it is up to the local councils to sign off on these plans.

“It’s fine if existing drainage infrastructure can support the new development, but only if the new developments are near the old ones,” he said.

“What matters is whether actual planning, approval and review of the drainage requirements has been done by the local council and the developer.

“If there is an issue with the drainage that is approved, it is probably because the prescribed plans for drainage are lacking or poorly planned – or the developer has failed to construct these drains according to proper specifications.”

Touching on the claims raised by the Taman Sri Muda residents of other townships using their drains, he said developers of those neighbourhoods would not have a valid legal reason to connect to Taman Sri Muda’s drains.

“If the local council instructed developers to use the existing drainage, what was their justification? If the local council did not approve the use of existing drainage, why did the developer do so? Was it illegally done? These are the questions that need to be answered by the local council and the developers.”

Separately, an architect said developers must comply with the irrigation and drainage department’s guidelines. “Most drainage is then surrendered to either local councils or DID to handle,” said Ou Yang Chow Min.

FMT has sought comment from DID, the Construction Industry Development Board and the Master Builders Association Malaysia.

Legal loophole that let ‘other water’ to swamp Taman Sri Muda


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