Kampung Baru, Malaysia. April 20th, 2011.

ABOUT 30 families have been evacuated to a community hall after a two-metre deep sinkhole appeared in front of their houses.

The sinkhole was believed to be caused by the bursting of old underground pipes.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the pipes in the village were more than 30 years old and long-term measures were needed to replace the entire piping system.

“However, we can only make a decision after the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and Ikram find out the cause of the sinkhole,’’ Nong Chik told reporters after visiting the families living in Jalan Syed Mahadi, Kampung Baru on Friday.

As a safety measure, the families living in the area of the sinkhole have been offered temporary homes in People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Air Panas, Setapak.

“The government is also commited to developing Kg Baru. Icons like the Masjid Kg Baru and Kelab Sultan Sulaiman and the village’s Malay heritage which makes it unique will be retained,’’ he said.

He added that by setting up the site office with a team of experts to help residents and landowners with any questions pertaining to the development plans was to ensure there was open communication between the landowners and the authorities.

The site office at the multi-purpose hall in Jalan Haji Hashim, Kg Baru, has been in operation since last week and has been receiving queries from landowners.

The team comprising ministry officers as well as the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will identify infrastructure in Kg Baru in need of repair so that the value of the place will appreciate.

Nong Chik said the wording in the Kg Baru Development Corporation Bill draft was being amended by the Attorney-General’s chambers.

“We will discuss the new draft with the various non-governmental organisations representing the owners of Kg Baru and once everyone agrees to the amendement, we will go around Kg Baru to explain the draft to the people,” he said.

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