PETALING JAYA (Jan 16): A private construction company has plans to revive a multi-billion ringgit highway project across Petaling Jaya, Selangor, that was scrapped six years ago by former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, reported The Edge Malaysia.

PJD Link (M) executive director Amrish Hari Narayanan told the weekly that the company “has been soliciting public feedback and engaging with members of parliament and state assemblymen” on the “plan to build the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link), which follows a similar route as the controversial RM2.4 billion Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project”.

Kidex was cancelled back in 2015 when the developer failed to submit a traffic impact assessment, social impact assessment and environmental impact assessment by the required deadline.

“We have given briefings and invited feedback from MPs and ADUNs for the relevant areas, as well as the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) and the state planning departments. We have also had informal engagements with residents, and we welcome any comments and feedback from anyone potentially affected by the project,” Amrish said.

An alignment of the proposed highway that can link Bandar Utama, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, PJ City Centre, Taman Dato’ Harun, Taman Medan Baru, Taman Sri Manja and Bandar Kinrara to Bukit Jalil Technology Park in Kuala Lumpur has been on the company’s website since Jan 10

“The alignment is still subject to change based on our ongoing engagement with related government authorities and stakeholders,” Amrish explained.

He said the 34.3km four-lane elevated PJD Link “is expected to cut travelling time between Bandar Utama and Kinrara to 15 minutes compared with about an hour by car”.

Amrish added that other benefits from the mega project include helping the government stimulate the construction sector impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, many residents of Petaling Jaya together with local lawmakers such as PJ MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran have repeatedly voiced their opposition via the media to any revival of the expressway project.

Tan Yew Leong, a resident of Section 19 in PJ, is against the revival of the expressway project as the new alignment “is about 85% similar to that of the Kidex project that was rejected by the Selangor government in 2015”.

“For us, we don’t want this highway. We don’t want to have dialogues with the company over the proposed project. We only ask what the Selangor government’s stand is on this matter and we want a proper town hall meeting for all stakeholders to give their views,” Tan said.

PJ MP Maria told The Edge that the “proposed highway cuts across mature townships in PJ and that’s where I have a lot of worries because it would involve appropriation of land. For residents who have been living here for decades, even if they are compensated, where are they going to move to? This is especially so when houses are now so expensive”.

“How much can you compensate? And how many (housing areas) can you compensate for? The project also disorients long-time businesses as they are forced to sell their properties so that the company can build the highway,” she added.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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