KUALA LUMPUR: Landowners in Jalan Sultan have been assured that no buildings will be demolished for the construction of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.
MRT Co will ensure they are not affected by the tunnelling, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan told Parliament on Thursday, Oct 13.
"This alignment was chosen because it is an optimum alignment between two locations — the Pasar Seni station where [it] will integrate with LRT and the [vicinity of] Stadium Merdeka as there are plans to redevelop the area," Ahmad said in reply to a question by Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn on why the government cannot guarantee landowners will be able to reclaim their land upon the completion of the MRT project.
Ahmad also said MRT Co is having discussions with landowners to achieve agreement where land acquisition may not be necessary.
"The matter that has to be agreed upon is for landowners to vacate the premises during the construction of the tunnel and return when it is completed. Another matter is the compensation for those affected. Hence the issue of returning the land to the owner does not arise," Ahmad explained.
He said the final alignment was decided based on six factors (i) minimum social impact; (ii) minimum land acquisition; (iii) technical ability; (iv) perfect integration; (v) optimum ridership; and (vi) short MRT travel time.
He added that the alternative route is not suitable as the alignment would have to take sharp corners and it would not solve the issue of the affected buildings.
Ahmad also said the alternative route would not result in smooth integration with the LRT at the Pasar Seni Station.
Ahmad said there will be a few locations which involve stations and over-ground alignment that would involve land acquisition through legal process. He added that compensation would be based on the market rate and certain criteria.
He said about 500 private land lots amounting to 75ha will be acquired for the MRT project, but he could not nail down the total cost of compensation to be paid out due to ongoing matters in the courts.
Ahmad also refuted claims that the MRT alignment was moved to avoid a VIP's bungalow.
"The original alignment does not pass through the said bungalow. It is true we moved it slightly so that the alignment is at the side of the land in order to reduce the compensation," he said.