Residents win compensation after four years

After suffering flash floods for four years and a fruitless trip to Putrajaya, residents of the Taman Kota Permai in Penang may finally have a solution to their problems.

The Sewerage Services Department (JPP) has decided to offer RM1.9 million compensation to 79 out of the 80 affected households in the area, the residents’ spokesperson Bernard Cheen announced today.

As to the one other house, JPP will appoint a contractor to assess the damage to it.

The decision was made by JPP based on studies conducted by the geotechnical body of the Public Work Departments (Ikram), which late last year had begun investigating the cracks in the houses.

The residents’ action committee had put forth their claim for compensation in January this year, during a visit to Putrajaya.

Bernard thanked the contribution of Padang Lalang assemblyperson Tan Teik Cheng, who helped form the committee and also spearheaded the January visit, where they met meet Green Technology, Energy and Water Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui.

The residents began experiencing intermittent flash floods and saw cracks appearing in their houses ever since the JPP embarked on a RM73 million sewerage development project near their residential area, some three years ago.

Frustrated that their complaints fell on deaf ears, the residents went to the extent of chartering a bus and traveling all the way to Putrajaya last July in an attempt to meet Chin.

However, the minister had then rebuffed the 28 residents who had made the trip, and the latter had to be content with handing over their memorandum to the ministry’s Deputy Minister Noriah Kasnon’s private secretary, Abidin Supardi.

“We are happy not because of the monetary gain, but instead we are gaining back whatever we have lost and has cost us ever since these problems started occurring,” Bernard said.