KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — More than 450 Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents voiced their dissent yesterday over proposed future developments in Taman Rimba Kiara, including a six-lane highway cutting across their suburb.
The community hearing at the Women’s Institute of Management was to raise awareness of the potential effects of a proposed eight blocks of serviced apartments ranging from 42 to 54 storeys with 1,800 units on land at Taman Rimba Kiara, and a proposed six — to eight-lane highway from Jalan Datuk Sulaiman-Plaza VADS to Penchala Link.
Spokesman for the residents Leon Koay said the developments could increase the ratio of 60 people to 0.4 ha to a whopping 979 per 0.4 ha.
“This will lead to massive traffic congestion and security problems in our neighbourhood. The current development is also not sustainable as TTDI is already overdeveloped,” he said.
“Our current infrastructure is already barely coping with our current community demands.”
The new developments will see at least 8,000 to 10,000 new residents in the area.
TTDI’s original infrastructure was built for 5,000 to 6,000 houses and 20,000 to 25,000 residents.
Today, even without the proposed developments, the infrastructure is struggling to cope with a population of 35,000 to 40,000.
Koay said the residents are adamant in wanting to see their green space remain untouched by development.
“Under the Kuala Lumpur Draft Plan 2020, Taman Rimba Kiara is marked as a public open space and serves as an important green lung to the city,” he said.
“The upkeep of the park is, to a certain extent, carried out by resident volunteers. It is so pristine that even hornbills are seen there.”
The serviced apartments project was announced in June last year by City Hall and expected to be carried by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan.
The proposed highway, however, is not included in the original plan and was discovered by the residents while filing their objections with City Hall.
According to Koay, the highway will divide the TTDI communities and include extensive civil and road construction works.
“It will include a flyover from Jalan Damansara to Jalan Wan Kadir as well as a road expansion and a junction reconfiguration along the same road,” he said.
“The highway construction will entail encroachment onto existing parking bays, removal of trees and construction over or possibly the narrowing of monsoon drains.
“It will be the end of our community living as we know it.”
He said although the residents were seeking legal advice, they wanted the mayor to respond to their concerns.
“We have sent letters and petitions to City Hall since the project was announced in June. Apart from a hearing we had with them in August, they have not officially responded to us,” he said.
“We are engaging a legal counsel to see what our options are. We are not ruling out litigation but we urge City Hall to engage with us rather than keep quiet.”
The proposed development on Taman Rimba Kiara will also include one block of 29-storey affordable apartments consisting of 250 units.
It was meant to house some 170 families of plantation workers who used to work on the estates of Bukit Kiara years ago. These families stayed at the Bukit Kiara longhouses.
Taman Tun Residents Association vice-chairman Clinton Ang said they were not against providing permanent and sustainable housing to the longhouse residents. However, it could be done without affecting Taman Rimba Kiara in a drastic manner.
“We agree completely the government should fulfil its promise and provide permanent housing to the families of the tappers as it is long overdue,” he said.
“We also have repeatedly said it should be on the existing land of the longhouses. However,it can be done without permanently degrading Taman Rimba Kiara,” he said.
At yesterday’s meeting, the residents signed a petition to save Taman Rimba Kiara, which they will submit to City Hall.
The public may also sign their online petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/selamatkan-taman-rimba-kiara or obtain additional details at tamanrimbakiara.net.