Saturday, March 24, 2012

Deplorable Conditions of Low Cost Flats

Lifts that don't work, lights that don't work, railings that are stolen. These are some of the problems faced by the residents of a PPR flat in Kota Damansara.

SUBANG: A pregnant woman could not be rushed to the hospital and ended up giving birth in front of the lift door when the lifts in a low-cost flat here failed to function.

The residents of the PPR flat in Section 8, Kota Damansara, are living in extreme conditions, and this prompted a MIC leader to call on Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to set aside political differences.

MIC secretary-general S Murugesan said both the Federal Territory and Urban Well being Ministry and the Selangor state government must work together to resolve the residents’ woes.

“It is not about politics but a humanitarian issue. The welfare of the people is of importance and political differences should be set aside,” he told reporters after visiting the PPR flat yesterday.

Murugesan said he met with the maintenance company Nilsham Resources last week and was informed that the maintenance service was stopped after the residents did not pay rental.

However, the residents claimed that they had refused to pay rental after the maintenance overlooked their basic needs.

Speaking to FMT, B Paneer Selvam, who has been staying there for the past five years, said that the problems started after Pakatan took over Selangor.

The state government increased the rental from RM124 to RM250 in July, 2008.

“We were against the rental increase because we could not afford it,” he said, adding that a year later, the state government agreed to the old rate after a series of meetings.

“However, the new maintenance company appointed by Pakatan forced us to pay the one year arrears which is more than RM3,000. We are poor people who cannot fork out such a big sum and this led to the maintenance company withdrawing its services,” he said.

Faulty lifts are the main problem

Asked about the condition of the flats, Paneer said that faulty lifts were the main problem.

“There are three lifts for each block but only one functions. Furthermore, the lift stops automatically on each of the 18 floors, and it takes about 30 minutes to go up and down,” he added.

The flats was also littered with rubbish, and Paneer explained that it was because it took the residents a long time to take their rubbish to the ground floor.

He also said that drug addicts also frequented the flats, and there have been numerous robbery cases because the lights along the walkways were not working.

Relating another incident, Paneer said a child fell down the staircase because the railings had been stolen.

Murugesan said most PPR flats were in a similar condition and stressed on the need for action to be taken.

“I am here not as a politician but like I said, this is more of a humanitarian issue,” he added.

“We want a long-term solution to this PPR flats problem,” he said, adding that the state government could follow the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) where the latter oversees all the low-cost flats in the Federal Territory.

He added that the state government should form a special department to cater for all the PPR flats in Selangor.

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