Taman Tunku villagers cry foul, 300 houses damaged by sewerage construction work

A section of a house which is being touched up.

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KUCHING, March 30: Some 300 houses in Kampung Tunku at Petra Jaya here have suffered devastating structural damage and cracks allegedly caused by the construction of the Kuching Centralised Wastewater Management System project which has dragged on since 2017.

As such, the villagers are urging the Sarawak government to be more proactive in helping them resolve their problems.

Resident Jais Sahok disclosed that some 300 houses including his have suffered devastating damage and cracks due to the sedimentation that occurred after the sewerage drilling works began a few years ago.

“There are sloping houses that can be seen with the naked eye and there are houses whose occupants were supposed to be evacuated immediately due to security factors but are still seen inhabiting the houses,” he told a press conference after bringing reporters for a walkabout to see for themselves the damage caused at some of the affected houses today.

Jais speaking to reporters during a press conference.

Jais, who is a teacher, also pointed out that the amount of compensation proposed by the responsible contractor was too low in comparison to the damages suffered.

Additionally, he said that most of the repair works done were only touch-ups and not proper repairs to restore the property to its original conditions.

“This is very worrying because after rounds of negotiations made between the two parties, there are yet any results or outcome.

“This housing area was originally built 40 years ago by piling mangrove wood into the soft peat swamp.

“Residents are also anxious and worried that their lives and that of their family members are at risk due to the structures of their homes that have been severely affected,” he emphasised.

A file photo from Kpg Tunku JKKK’s Facebook page showing Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali visiting an affected resident.

That aside, Jais added that residents are very disappointed with the fact that there is not yet any positive development despite receiving several visits and inspections being conducted, including on a large number of affected houses by the Sewerage Department, by contractors involved, elected representatives, Kuching North City Hall (DBKU), various taskforces, Public Works Department (JKR) and several other parties.

“Even the official report has yet to be submitted to the villagers,” he said.

Hence, the residents hope that the Sarawak government can take action on the contractors involved to defend the rights of the residents.

“We are not living an easy life. In fact, these houses were bought with the hard work of our parents decades ago.

“We hope that this matter can be solved as best as possible and the contractors and others involved can be aware and have a sense of responsibility because this issue involves the safety of people and property they live in.

“Do not treat this issue like letting off a cough on the stairs and blaming each other in the event of any eventuality,” he urged. — DayakDaily