THE Selangor state government will not approve the controversial Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) project if the proposed highway turns out to be similar to the scrapped Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) project.
According to caretaker Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, the only approval they have given to the concession company was to conduct a study and collect feedback from the public which includes engagement with residents’ associations and conduct social, traffic and environmental impact assessments.
In an interview with the BFM Breakfast Grille today (July 14) Amirudin stressed that the state government has yet to make any decisions on the PJD Link proposal.
“It’s not yet approved. It is just to give them and allow them to do the study and present back to the state,” he stated.
“I haven’t made a decision. We have to listen first. Because in the first presentation when they came to us, they definitely addressed KIDEX.
“This is more of an extension or some change in their alignment and what we call the architecture of the highway. And they promised they will address all the problems highlighted during KIDEX.”
The KIDEX highway project, envisioned to feature a 90% elevated expressway with a cost of RM2.42 bil, was scrapped in 2015 later by former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali after the state government discovered that the concessionaire for the KIDEX project had failed to meet three conditions set by the state government.
Azmin had noted that KIDEX did not disclose various reports for the project such as a traffic impact assessment, a social impact assessment and an environmental impact assessment, besides failing to reveal the toll rates and full concession agreement.
Selangor State Executive Councillor Izham Hashim informed the state assembly on November 9, 2020, that the PJD Link proposal was discussed at a State Economic Council (MTES) meeting, prompting several Petaling Jaya residents’ groups to express concern that the proposed highway would be an updated version of the KIDEX project.
“That is why we have to listen to it first. We have to see first. Does it really address and then try to tackle all the issues highlighted during KIDEX?
“If we are satisfied and we also get the response from the public, then definitely we say yes.
“But if it is just to replicate or rebrand the name, definitely we have to be consistent with our policy and decision in 2015,” Amirudin said in the interview with the radio station.
“Big no,” said the incumbent Sungai Tua assemblyman when asked about the project’s future plans if the PJD Link project had been found to be same to the previous KIDEX project.
On May 12, PJD Link CEO Amrish Hari Narayanan rebuffed claims that the PJD Link was a “rebranded Kidex”, calling such claims inaccurate.
“KIDEX was designed to be a direct link between Damansara and Kinrara in Puchong, effectively bypassing Petaling Jaya,” he was quoted as saying by FMT.
“PJD Link, on the other hand, is designed to be a traffic dispersal system,” Amrish said.
Amrish added that PJD Link will be beneficial to lower-income communities in Petaling Jaya through increased connectivity and accessibility throughout the Greater Klang Valley.
According to the PJD Link’s concessionaire, the highway will provide much-needed connectivity between the north and south of Petaling Jaya, including for those living in low-cost housing areas in Taman Medan and Kayu Ara which experience gridlock issues on neighbourhood roads during peak hours on an almost daily basis.
Amrish further noted that the PJD Link will provide better connectivity and ease of access for those in the B40 communities through public transport links. – July 14, 2023
Main pic credit: BFM