Sunday, December 30, 2012

MPKj’s decision to vacate Ampang Look Out Point was spot on

The Star, Saturday December 29, 2012

THE decision to vacate the Ampang Look Out Point (ALOP) proved to be right when a landslide occurred on Nov 15.

There were erosion and soil movement a few days earlier before it worsened into a landslide, causing Jalan Ampang-Hulu Langat to be closed.

There were no casualties as the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) had instructed restaurant owners to vacate their premises on Jan 18.

However, there was a tussle between traders and the authorities over the closure of the restaurants.

Council president Datuk Hasan Nawawi Abd Rahman was quoted saying ALOP’s closure order was carried out after the operators were noted to have done extensive renovation close to the steep slope.
“The decision was taken based on the possible danger it poses to visitors and operators,” he said.

On Jan 21 (“Residents and traders protest closure of Ampang Look Out Point”), StarMetro reported that the council had issued five notices from Aug 10 last year to Jan 17 this year.

After the landslide, Public Works Department (PWD) slope department used hydroseeding (a planting process that aids erosion control) and fibremat (used to stabilise surfaces) to strengthen the slope.
PWD will also build a new drain in place of the one that gave way after the landslide.

Some of the furniture and items are still on site and MPKj instructed ALOP restaurant operators to remove their belongings from the area early this month.

In 2011, it was reported that a large crack was found in a corner of the original ALOP structure and the floor area.

The report also stated that the slope below the supporting pillars of the structure was unstable following a minor landslip.

Signs of a larger landslip were also spotted on the steep slope below the team-building facility at ALOP.

Last year, state Economic Planning Unit (Upen) issued a notice dated Nov 11, instructing ALOP to close for six months, reportedly to have settled all standing issues in the area.

However, ALOP continued to operate as usual and the management had filed an injunction against the authorities and an appeal had been made against it.

The Shah Alam High Court ruled in favour of the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) at the hearing on Feb 20 this year.

Launched in 2001, the RM20mil ALOP has passed hands from the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) to MPKj to the current owner, Selangor Tourism.

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