Monday, April 28, 2014

Construction Noise Menace and the Useless City Hall

As the title suggest, we Malaysians suffer a lot from corrupt and useless authorities who we entrust to enforce the law with our tax money. Construction sites work day and night without considering the noise and smog affecting neighbours, although their permit limits them to certain hours.

So, people living in St Mary Residences suffer from the surrounding construction. On one side, the Hap Seng Building which is now nearing completion, another side we have the Public Bank building but nothing beats the reconstruction of the MAS building next door to block C.

The noise does not only affects Block C because the St Mary buildings are effectively a quadrangle so noise tends to reflect and bounce of the walls so all units tend to be affected.

The developer is PNB, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and the contractor is AZRB, Ahmad Zaki Resources, both politically well connected. They have a permit to work from 8am to 6pm daily and this fact is published on the development notice board outside the construction site.

However, work often goes on till 1am or 2am. Residents have in the past called the police. The police turns up only to tell them to stop work. They will stop and as soon as the police has left, they start again. It's literally a cat and mouse game. At many instances, the construction stops and all lights were switched off a few minutes before the arrival of the police patrol car. Then mysteriously as they went silent they started back again as soon as the patrol car left.

Up until one day, one honest sargeant told us the police is powerless to act against this type of menace. This is despite the law allowing them to confiscate any device such as loud speakers and musical instruments from bars who exceed the noise limit. So, he suggested we should stop calling them and instead call the city hall, DBKL.

There really is no difference between DBKL and the police. It's cat and mouse all over again. Then one day, the contractor called for a meeting with the residents. The intention was actually to ask the St Mary residents' sign off for them to extend their work hours to the night. They produced clever reports from consultants who claim that the noise level is actually acceptable. The report however did not specify what time the noise level were recorded at and since the report was paid for by the contractor they were not so "independent". Residents challenged and scolded the developer and all those who turned up for the meeting shared their story of untold misery such as having to wake up at 1am to calm their babies who were woken up by the noise.

The Project Manager who incidentally won a Grammy Award for best actor claimed he was unaware that his underlings have been flouting the permit's time limit. He expressed shock and even turned to his Project Supervisor for confirmation of such inconsiderate attitude. He then promised no more night works and provided his mobile number in case complaints need to be escalated to him directly.

Frankly, nothing changed even after the meeting and it's a cat and mouse game again with the developer while the Project Manager did not really follow up with any of the residents' phone calls.

Last Friday was probably the ultimate as the contractor managed to get DBKL's approval to assemble a giant mobile crane from Friday 25th to Monday 28th of April. The contractor also took the opportunity to catch up with their work although they were not supposed to. The permit only allows the assembly of the crane and Jalan Tengah to be partially closed for that purpose. The construction went on till 6am Saturday morning, then started again all of Saturday and Sunday.

This time, residents called DBKL. The DBKL officer said he will prepare a report and send his men to the site. No DBKL officers showed up. 2 hours later, at 1am more calls to DBKL, the officer said they were still preparing the report. The whole weekend, nobody from DBKL came.

The police cannot do anything. Now DBKL seems they have been corrupted. So, the only option left is to take this to the next level.... Let's see what it is going to be...

1 comment:

Patch said...

This seems to be the same experience at Palmville Resort Condo at Sunway,we suffered badly during the Sunway Hospital extension. The work went on beyond 10pm and weekends. :(
Only we did not bother to call Police and whatever...or get out of bed to check....Call or dont call also the same....unless you are politically well-connected?