By John Isaac
OCCUPANTS of several shophouses in Jalan Market next to ‘Perbadanan Urusan Kejuruteraan dan Limbungan Brooke’ are worried after severe cracks appeared on the façade and structure of the buildings.
According to former Stampin MP, Julian Tan, it is believed that the nearby never-ending construction projects had aggravated the situation.
“The main pillars at one of the shops also appeared tilted, with some big chunks of concrete about to fall apart.
“This raises serious concern, and if the cracks are left unattended and the ground movement continues, the building’s structural integrity may be compromised and endanger its occupants,” he said.
Julian, who is a special assistant to Sarawak DAP chief, Chong Chieng Jen, urged Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) to look into the matter seriously to thwart any unwanted incident.
“It is understood that the matter has been brought to DBKU’s attention multiple times, some as early as 2020 but met with disappointment.
“As with its rich and century-old history, the foundation of many old shophouses here could be stone, brick, or hard timber.
“This makes them susceptible to ground movement, unlike the stronger and thicker reinforced concrete being used today,” he said.
Julian said DBKU needs to ensure that any upgrading project in the city on such a historic site needs serious and careful consideration of the methods being used to and not upset the foundation.
Ironically, the ongoing project here also became an eyesore in this part of the city and caused great inconveniences to both businesses and users.
It is plagued with delays after delays and it is only proper for DBKU to engage with the business community here to have a true sense of its severity, especially on businesses that have been greatly affected by the said construction project.