Residents take MB to task over EKVE project

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Residents in Ukay Perdana and its vicinity want Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali to hear them out before giving the green light to the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) to end its route in the area.

Singling out the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project that was cancelled recently, Bukit Antarabangsa resident task force-EKVE facilitator Datuk Mohd Arshad Raji said the state should take into account the concerns of the 200,000 residents who would be affected by the project.

He claimed the residents were not consulted on the design and assignment of the highway that would have an impact on the residents in Ukay Perdana, Bukit Antarabangsa, Sering Ukay, Ukay Bistari and the surrounding areas.

Mohd Arshad also questioned Azmin’s lack of interest in the matter despite him being the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman.

He said they had written to the Works Ministry, the state government, including Azmin, the Malaysian Highway Authority and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) but none replied.

“We understand the council will be tabling the highway proposal with the intention of approving it in the next two weeks despite objections from us,” Mohd Arshad, who is also the Sering Ukay Residents Association chairman, said.

The plan is to convert the existing Jalan Ukay Perdana into a highway by linking it with the toll booth at Ukay Perdana.

The Jalan UKP exit will be widened at certain stretches and two half interchanges will be built on the existing road.

The residents believe this will cause an influx of vehicles into the existing road, both inbound and outbound.

“The authorities do not seem to be receptive to our concerns of enduring the daily traffic jam,” he said.

Mohd Arshad said the existing four-lane road was already congested and converting it into six lanes to accommodate more traffic from the EKVE toll exit on to the  Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) would further inconvenience the residents.

“If the EKVE brings in more traffic, we will probably have to leave home before dawn to beat the heavy traffic,” he said.

He said the extension of lanes was    not a solution as the proposed expressway was designed to deposit the traffic into the MRR2, which was always congested.

Mohd Arshad said the proposed conversion of Jalan Ukay Perdana, to be designated as part of the EKVE, was not included in the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Local Plan 2020 (RT MPAJ)

“As such, the process of public hearing as provided by the Town Country Planning Act 1976 was not carried out and this contravenes the Act,” he said, adding that the Environmental Impact Assessment for the EKVE had expired on May 15.

Another resident task force-EKVE facilitator, Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman, questioned the state’s target for public transportation to private vehicle usage by 2020 by a ratio of 60:40, saying  it should focus more on public mobility.

Rafick claimed that if the upgrading of Jalan Ukay Perdana proceeded, the LRT rail alignment would be scrapped.

He said the residents had proposed that an elevated highway be built in place of the six-lane facility so that it did not disrupt the neighbourhood.

Ampang Jaya Municipal Council  president Abdul Hamid Abdul Hussain acknowledged that he had received the objection letter from the task force and would raise the matter with the state government.

“There will be a meeting on June 2  to endorse the amendments made to the council’s local plan and the mentri besar will also be present. Their grouses will be raised there,” he said.

Abdul Hamid said the council’s local plans only indicated the alignment of the EKVE and not details like placement of tolls and bridges.

Azmin could not be reached at press time.