IPOH: RESIDENTS of Taman Rima Gamelan here are living in fear that the earth, which has been dumped up to a height of one metre behind their houses, will give way and collapse onto their premises.
They are also worried about the water and debris, which could fill the drains and flood their houses.
The earth had been dumped for up to one kilometre following work to divert the Sungai Pinji behind the row of 23 houses.
A housing project is also expected to take off soon in the area.
The diversion is necessary because the river had eroded certain sections of the riverbank near some houses.
The areas in Taman Rima Gamelan and in another housing scheme in Taman Sri Bercham were flooded once, at the end of last year, and early this year, respectively.
Resident Tham Wai Hong, 38, said he was not against development, but the developer must take safety precautions to avoid any untoward incidents.
"I have been living here for the last 10 years, and this is the first time we have had such concerns. It is frightening.
"We are living in fear since we do not know when a downpour will occur, bringing down tonnes of earth," he said when met recently.
He added that the drain would not be able to contain the large volume of water and mud.
Another resident, M. Kolandapyan, 46, said that the residents were worried that a downpour would cause major damage.
A spokesman for the developer, who only identified himself as Woo, said the diversion work would be completed in two to three weeks.
The developer put up barricades next to the mountain of earth.
Bercham assemblyman Sum Cheok Leng, who visited the scene, asked the developer to take extra care to ensure that loose earth will not be washed inside the houses when it rains.
He said although most of the squatters occupying land have left after the developer paid them RM5,000 in compensation, there were still about five left who have refused to move, demanding for higher compensation. This may delay the housing project.