SHAH ALAM, May 1 — Growing resistance towards a proposed elevated highway in the state will unlikely deter Selangor from the project, with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim now saying that thwarting the job would be unfair to the developer.
Public discontent over, among others, the lack of details about the RM2.42 billion Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) and possible forced acquisition of homes along the proposed route have culminated in a residents’ group that is trying and convince Khalid’s administration to veto the project.
“No, I don’t think so. It would not be fair to the company if that is done,” Khalid told The Malay Mail Online when asked whether the elevated highway project could be called off if public feedback on the project was negative.
Although the KIDEX is a federal project, the state government’s agreement is essential as the highway route is expected to run through familiar landmarks in Petaling Jaya.
Positive public response is also technically necessary for the project to proceed.
And while critics want the project abandoned entirely, Khalid indicated that concessions--if any--are likely to be limited to alterations to the highway’s alignment.
“If there are objections to the (highway) route, this can be discussed and fixed,” the Selangor MB said.
While details of the elevated highway are scarce, all signs suggest that authorities are set on its construction despite the hurdles that it must still pass.
Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof told The Malay Mail Online previously 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 last 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.
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.