Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TTDI Residents Say, MRT by All Means but ‘Not In My Backyard’

Although not wholly hijacked by the opposition, as on the face it is something apolitical, the government still come out strong to defend its RM40bil Klang Valley My Rapid Transit (MRT) construction project, claiming that it was aimed at alleviating future road and traffic congestion in Klang Valley.

On Monday Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the Klang Valley has less than 2km of rail per million residents, which was less than five percent of other big cities.

He compared major cities such as London, New York, Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore have an urban rail system more than 40km per million residents.

The series of rebuttals and statements to maintain its stand only reflect how the project is being viewed by several parties as not viable or not properly planned.

Among the most outspoken is a group in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), who stridently lashed out at MRT Co as well as the Minister of Federal Territories and Urban Well-being, Raja Nong Chik who is now within the cross hairs of residents affected in the area.

The issue that developed is not only confined to the building of the MRT station smack on the fringes of TDDI (Kuala Lumpur) and Selangor’s Bandar Utama, although areas such as SS2, Petaling Jaya further down the road obviously desperately need transport resolution.

Residents in the affected parts of TTDI questioned why build such a monstrosity in their backyard, whereas it could be easily be built on an area next to TV3’s Sri Pentas in Bandar Utama, as it is not a residential area, but, instead just a site office of the landmark One Utama shopping precinct?

The bone of contention is the potential for untold congestions in the wake of such development as well.

Ahmad Maslan, in his reply to Khalid Samad (PAS-Shah Alam) in parliament said, “We are trying to solve traffic problems as the numbers of vehicles is increasing by 500,000 yearly.”

What Ahmad Maslan said goes without saying, but he seems to have lost the plot here, as what the public in the affected areas wish to know is why plan such projects smack through their vicinity?

Ahmad Maslan said the first 51km of railway stretch from Sungai Buloh to Kajang was projected to service some 1.2mil residents with a maximum capacity of 440,000 passengers daily.

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