Independent checker for traffic impact assessment is more red tape, says Penang group

SPEAD are objecting to the Penang Island City Council’s (MBPP) appointment of an independent checker to assess Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) reports submitted by developers.  — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
SPEAD are objecting to the Penang Island City Council’s (MBPP) appointment of an independent checker to assess Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) reports submitted by developers. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, March 18 — A group consisting of surveyors, town planners, engineers, architects and developers are objecting to the Penang Island City Council’s (MBPP) appointment of an independent checker to assess Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) reports submitted by developers. 

The group, called SPEAD, said the appointment of a single independent checker, effective January 1 this year, was made without consulting stakeholders.

“SPEAD is also not agreeable to the appointment of a single Independent Checker as all TIA consultants are equally qualified professional engineers recognised by the Board of Engineers Malaysia,” the group said in a statement issued today.

SPEAD claimed that there was no strong justification for MBPP to appoint an independent checker and that there was no transparency on the scope and terms of reference for the independent checker.

“We are concerned that the appointment of a single Independent Checker may lead to issues of transparency and integrity,” it said. 

The group expressed its confidence in the competence and capability of MBPP’s Engineering Department in assessing the TIA reports without an independent checker.

“The MBPP should not introduce additional ‘red tape’ if the objective of this new directive is simply to improve the TIA approval process within the MBPP’s own departments,” it said.

The group urged MBPP to cancel the appointment of the independent checker and engage with SPEAD to come up with a “win-win” solution.

SPEAD comprises members of the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Penang branch), Malaysian Institute of Architects (Northern Chapter), Malaysian Institute of Planners (Northern Branch), The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (Penang branch) and Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (Northern branch).

MBPP, in February, approved the appointment of Perunding Traffik Bakti Sdn Bhd, as an independent checker of TIA for the city council for a period of 12 months. 

The independent checker will assess TIA reports submitted to MBPP for approval and suggest recommendations on the report to MBPP before the city council makes a final decision on the project.

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