Some 150 residents and politicians from both sides of the divide came together for a peaceful protest against the PJD Link highway in Bandar Utama Petaling Jaya on Saturday morning.
This was the second protest in July and saw new faces and residents from Bandar Utama, SS20 Damansara Kim, Section 4, Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya, SS2 and other Petaling Jaya neighbourhoods.
Stakeholders Cum Residents Against PJD Link (Scrap highway) chairman David Yoong gave an overview of the proposed alignment.
Bandar Utama residents were informed that based on existing information of the proposed highway, getting onto the highway will be without connections to come down to Sprint onward to Kuala Lumpur, or to the LDP in both northward and southward directions.
Instead, Bandar Utama residents will be compelled to pay toll at the Jalan Harapan toll plaza, after which the first available exit is only at the Penchala Road interchange.
In short, the PJD Link serves no real purpose to the majority of Bandar Utama residents whilst it is being constructed at Bandar Utama’s doorstep. The highway has the potential to irreversibly damage Bandar Utama’s environment, bring traffic congestion and alter the social fabric of the entire Bandar Utama community.
Syed Mohd Taufik, a longtime resident of Bandar Utama, stated that if the PJD Link highway was to allow traffic into Lebuh Bandar Utama (near the Bandar Utama Police station), it would cause terrible traffic congestion. “Where is the EIA [environmental impact assessment], SIA [social impact assessment] and TIA [traffic impact assessment]?”.
Dr Ong See Lian from the Damansara Jaya Residents and Owners Association spoke at the protest. “Representing 10,000 residents and 200 businesses in Damansara Jaya, our residents are distressed by the announcement of the PJD Link highway. This highway will further aggravate the wellbeing of our residents.
“Our residents want to enjoy the inter-district connectivity and not allow this highway to cut off the inter-neighbourhood mobility of the residents. Houses in Jalan SS22/2 will likely have a severe impact on their valuation, estimating a possibility of losing 30% of value compared to other houses nearby. “This highway goes against Local Agenda 21 and residents need to be consulted”
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Dr Ong urged the government to reject the PJD Link and focus on sustainable development such as building safe bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways to improve the wellbeing of the residents.
MP Maria Chin Abdullah, MP Sivarasa Rasiah, Selayang MP William Leong, the Selangor State Assembly member for Sungai Pelek, Ronnie Liu, Damansara MCA chairman Tan Gim Tuan and the assembly member for Taman Medan, Syamsul Firdaus Mohamed Supri, were in attendance during the protest.
Representatives from saynotopjdlink.org encouraged residents to register their protest online at www.saynotopjdlink.org. The online petition campaign is open for all residents to sign to express their opposition to the proposed highway. A map of the initial proposed highway alignment is available for the public to view on the website, while waiting for the official alignment to be made public by the developer. So far, 2,300 online protests have already been received and the number is growing by the day.
A group of representatives remain steadfast in getting a meeting with Izham Hashim, the chairman of the infrastructure, public utilities, modernisation of agriculture and agri-based industry.
The aim is to get an explanation of the guidelines and procedures concerning the Selangor’s government’s decision-making on the upcoming highway plans. This is for the purpose of transparency so that residents will know the entire process which needs to allow for affected residents to give formal feedback. Residents are asking for an independent and fair expert to review the proposed highway.
The federal government had given approval to three highways, and this was announced recently by Works Minister Fadillah Yusof. They are the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link), the Bangi-Putrajaya Expressway (BPE) and the Kuala Lumpur Northern Dispersal Expressway (KL NODE). Last month, Fadillah said that all three projects would be fully funded by the concessionaires.
The PJD Link, which is a tolled elevated highway, would cut across densely populated parts of Petaling Jaya. – saynotopjdlink