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PWD urged to stop land reclamation temporarily
Published on: Thursday, January 25, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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PWD urged to stop land reclamation temporarily
Clouds of dust are stirred up during the reclamation work taking place in this part of Kg Hubah.
A PENAMPANG resident is appealing to the Public Works Department (PWD) to temporarily halt the land reclamation which is taking place behind his house in Kg Hubah as part of the Pan Borneo project.

FRANC, the homeowner in question, said a contractor with the Department had been removing the greenery and piling up soil in this part of the district since the second week of January.

“These activities are being carried out approximately five metres away from my residence,” he said. 

The earthwork has caused cracks to form in some parts of the ceiling.

“The earthwork has had a negative impact on my home. Cracks have formed on some of the walls and ceilings. 

“Some of the wall and ceiling joints have come away, as have some of the ceiling boards around the building.”

He said one of the heavy machinery involved with the reclamation recently ran into a wooden extension he had put up on his property.

On top of the damage, Franc was upset about the clouds of dust which were stirred up by the excavators, as well as the fumes emitted by these vehicles.

“The dust and diesel vapours linger in the air, making it impossible for us to sun our laundry outside. Our clothes wind up being soiled with these impurities.

“The dirt and smell has also been coming in doors. Add to this the noise from the work and you have three sources of discomfort which make it unpleasant to stay at home during the day.”

Some of the ceiling boards around the house have also been dislodged.

He said he and his spouse had stopped taking lunch at home because of all this pollution.

It had also taken a toll on the health of his household, according to him.

“Each of us – myself, my wife and our son – has been unwell off late. We have come down with fevers, coughs and sore throats at one point or the other.

“The worst hit has been my boy who became ill while preparing to sit for his SPM (Malaysian Certificate of Education) examinations.”

Franc said he had related his displeasure about this turn of events to staff at the site office on several occasions.

“One of these personnel explained that the Pan Borneo project near the village involved the banks of the Moyog River 2.

“I was made to understand that the land on which my house was built could be acquired to access the site of this work.”

“However, the individual was very non-committal about how the contractor intended to remedy the damage which had occurred.

Owing to this, he wrote to the Controller of the Pan Borneo work in this part of Penampang about his experience.

The earthwork is taking place about five metres away from this Penampang house.

“I hope the Department will consider putting off the earthwork for a time till my concerns can be amicably resolved.”

He also lodged a police report about what had happened to his residence and family because of the reclamation.

Franc provided Hotline with copies of these documents, both of which were forwarded to the PWD.

A spokesman for the agency acknowledged receipt of these items, saying that the relevant section would be made aware of the homeowner’s grievance.

“An inspection will be made of the residence to verify the manner in which the building has been impacted by the ongoing reclamation. 

“Should his concerns prove to be true, then we will have to deliberate over how best to proceed.”

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