Compulsory acquisitions of homes will be low, says Kidex developer

Kidex Sdn Bhd CEO, Dato’ Mohd Nor Bin Idrus pledged that forced acquisitions of homes will be minimal. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Kidex Sdn Bhd CEO, Dato’ Mohd Nor Bin Idrus pledged that forced acquisitions of homes will be minimal. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The developer of the RM2.42 billion Kinrara-Damansara expressway (KIDEX) has pledged to keep forced acquisitions of homes to a minimum even though the route for the 14.9km project has been fixed in general.

Addressing a key concern raised by residents, Kidex Sdn Bhd said the firm will only compulsorily purchase a fraction of the 3,784 properties, which have been notified of possible-acquisition orders by the Selangor state government.

“We will minimise the acquisition of homes,” Kidex Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Mohd Nor Idrus told The Malay Mail Online in an exclusive interview.

“The general alignment line is fixed within the freezing corridor. But if we are faced with, say factory land and houses, our consideration will be towards residents.”

He assured the public that houses located beyond 50 metres on either side of the alignment route would not acquired.

Only about 10 per cent of the total 3,784 state lots would be used for the project, he added.

The  Selangor Land Office served a notice of “possible” acquisition of 3,784 government, commercial, industrial and residential units for the highway project on July 31 last year.

Reuben Selvarajah, chief engineer of HSS Engineering Sdn Bhd, the main engineering consultant for KIDEX, told The Malay Mail Online that based on the current assessment plans, about 300 lots would probably have to be acquired.

“Out of these 300 lots, only 80 will be residential units,” said Selvarajah, who was also present at the interview.

The notice of possible acquisition is based on Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1960, which allows the state government to purchase any land for any “public purpose” or projects beneficial to the economy, if it is satisfied with the initiative of the said project.

Mohd Nor said he was not at liberty to disclose information on toll rates as the concession agreement signed with the federal government prohibited him from doing so.

“I will be as honest and open as I possibly can, I do not want to hide anything, but I can’t reveal this yet,” he said.

Mohd Nor also promised that the company would be meeting representatives of affected residents to try and provide adequate and transparent information on how KIDEX would benefit them.

“It is an on-going process,” he added.

Some residents have alleged that the highway would run close to familiar landmarks in the state and, at up to 24 metres high, obstruct existing views.

Among the areas that could be affected by the project are Tropicana Mall, SS2 Mall, Rothman’s traffic lights, Section 14, Amcorp Mall, Hilton Petaling Jaya, Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital, Jalan Templer roundabout, Taman Datuk Harun, Taman Medan Baru and Bandar Kinrara.

Construction of the multi-billion ringgit highway could begin as soon as next year and be completed by 2018.

Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof told The Malay Mail Online recently that a “conditional agreement” was already in place.

According to two parliamentary replies on the matter by the Works minister, a number of conditions came with the project, and the Selangor government agreed to the highway construction proposal two years ago.

On November 12 last year, Fadillah told Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian that Selangor state had agreed to plans to build the highway through a letter by the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) dated February 23, 2012.

Earlier this month, the Works Ministry told Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo that KIDEX must fulfil a “condition precedent” 12 months before the concession agreement is enforced and that a “public survey” was also a necessary pre-condition.

The minister’s reply stated that the project cannot go ahead if public feedback is negative.

The reply also said that construction work is slated to begin next year if there were no objections.

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