By OH ING YEEN
Photos by MOHD SAHAR MISNI | Mar 15, 2011
Making way: The proposed MRT line will pass through Jalan Besar in Kajang Town, affecting 39 shop owners.
Half of the residents who turned up for a meeting on the proposed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang line walked off as Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana) and MMC-Gamuda JV Sdn Bhd did not show up.
Prasarana is the owner of the project while MMC-Gamuda JV Sdn Bhd was appointed as the Project Delivery Partner. The Land Public Transport Commission (LPTC), which was appointed to supervise the project, did not turn up as well.
The Kajang town hall was packed with residents eager to know about the project as well as to give their views.
Many were disappointed when Kajang assemblyman Lee Kim Sin announced that Prasarana pulled out of the meeting three days earlier.
The residents were shown a presentation of the proposed MRT line while Kajang municipal councillor P. Narayanan gave a briefing based on information provided by Prasarana.
The Sungai Buloh-Kajang line spans 51km with 35 stations.
The proposed line connects Sungai Buloh and Kajang, passing by Taman Suntex, Taman Cuepacs, Taman Koperasi, Balakong, Saujana Impian and Bandar Tun Hussein Onn.
Many residents suggested that the MRT line run underground to minimise land acquisition and noise pollution.
Lee said Prasarana would incur a higher cost if the line ran underground.
He added that property prices would decrease if the line was situated near the rail line due to noise pollution.
“However, if the MRT is situated underground, the nearby property prices will increase,” he said.
Some 39 shop owners in Kajang town will be affected if the proposed line was approved.
Hence, some of them came up with an alternative route that runs along Sungai Langat.
Kong Kok Lin, one of the affected businessmen, was building his shop when he got wind of the MRT project.
“I do not know if I should continue with the construction. I called the Prasarana headquarters two weeks ago but they could not give me a definite answer.
“A representative told me that the acquisition process takes three months.
“How will we be compensated then?” he questioned.
He was one of those who came up with the plan for an alternative route for the MRT line.
“Make the Kajang stadium the main station as there is space for a carpark.
“In this case, fewer buildings need to be acquired and Kajang town will not be affected,” he said.
Some areas are slated for land acquisition to make way for the proposed line such as Batu 9 Taman Sri Raya.
Nornisa Sahid Sahid said she bought her house in 1987 and could only move in after struggling with land issues for eight years.
“Will I have to relocate to make way for the MRT project? We want development but not at a price that will make us homeless.
“Furthermore, those affected are in the lower-income bracket.
“Instead of connecting the MRT line from Kuala Lumpur, improve the current public transportation in Kajang,” she suggested.
A fellow Taman Sri Raya resident said they were left in the dark as there was no notice to inform them about the land acquisition.
“I only knew about the project via information at the MPKj.
“Part of my land was acquired during the construction of the Grand Saga Highway, now I will lose what is left including my house in the acquisition for the MRT project,” he lamented.
John Kor, an engineer who has been living in Saujana Impian for 26 years, also hoped that the MRT be built underground.
“However, if the proposed (elevated) line is approved, I suggest a sound barrier be built to reduce noise pollution.
“The road system should be improved and there should be efficient feeder bus services from residential areas to the MRT.
Lee said they would try to organise another briefing with Prasarana, MMC-Gamuda and LPTC.