KUALA LUMPUR – January 1, 2017: Residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) here have been told that the proposed highway project in their neighbourhood had been scrapped.
However, there is no indication that the TTDI-DBKL (KL City Hall) tussle over the issue will end anytime soon.
In exchange of cancelling the plan for the six lanes highway, The Malay Mail Online yesterday reported that an alternative road will be developed in order to accomodate traffic in and out of an equally controversial high-rise development project slated at a public park in TTDI
DBKL executive director of planning Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd explained that the proposed road will stem from Jalan Damansara (which is connected to the Sprint Expressway) adding that it will completely bypass the existing residential areas of TTDI.
“After an engagement with the TTDI residents, many protested against it (the proposed highway), so we requested the developer to build a road that goes straight in and out of their development project,” he said
Despite the seemingly-good news, critics were still unhappy, mainly because they believed that DBKL’s alternative plan was just as terrible as the cancelled Penchala Link-Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad six lanes highway.
Where Najib did not disclose the type of road that DBKL has requested to the developer, a committee member of the Save Taman Rimba Kiara activist group, Leon Koay said that the alternative road will be in the form of a flyover.
“A flyover from Jalan Damansara into the Taman Rimba Kiara project would still pave the way for more developments that would eventually either encroach into TTDI or spill over into the township,” he said.
Although Najib said that the flyover was an alternative plan following the scrapping of the highway, previous reports have pointed out that both projects were originally part of the high-rise project’s traffic dispersal measures in anticipation of an increase in population density from the many apartments to be built.
The Mole had, in June 19 last year, reported on TTDI residents’ strong objection against the six lanes highway with some arguing that the project not only spoils the lush scenery of TTDI but also endangers the lives of residents.
A TTDI resident, retired bank executive Kamalul Anuar said that the road plan was simply absurd.
“There is no more space to expand the road and it just doesn’t make any sense to do so given how close the mosque is to the road. If it does happen, it’s going to be really dangerous for mosque-goers.
“This isn’t the first time I have heard of such a plan. A few years back the people also made noise when the road was going to be converted into a tolled road,” recalled Kamalul who has been living in TTDI since 1976.