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According to The Star, the controversial East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) project has been approved by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ). Its council president, Abdul Hamid Hussain, said the project was approved during a special One Stop Centre (OSC) committee meeting on August 12.
Speaking to the daily, Abdul Hamid said that “some of the conditions that the project developer Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd (AZRB) must adhere to include submitting the latest Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) study, verified by an independent body. A latest study of the Social Impact Assessment must also be submitted to the council, and AZRB must take into account improvements suggested by the residents in the proposed construction of the highway.”
Abdul Hamid also mentioned that the highway builder must comply with approval conditions set by the Drainage and Irrigation Department, the Public Works Department and MPAJ’s Planning Department.
The current approval is for Phase One of the expressway project, which is a 24.16 km stretch from the Sungai Long interchange to the Ukay Perdana Interchange. The expressway was initially gazette in the 2011 MPAJ Draft Local Plan 2020 (RT MPAJ), and at a cost of RM 1.55 billion, it is to be a closed toll system with toll plazas at each of the five interchanges.
The Star spoke to residents of Bukit Antarabangsa in Ampang who are up in arms over the state government and MPAJ’s handling of the affair. The Bukit Antarabangsa Residents Task Force (BARTF) has told the daily that the various authorities have shown a lack of transparency, integrity and professionalism in dealing with their concerns.
BARTF facilitator Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman said that despite several attempts to engage with Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali’s office, MPAJ and its councillors, the residents had been frustrated with the lack of communication.
Another BARTF facilitator, Brig-GeneralDatuk Mohd Arshad Raji also told the newspaper that the approval of the project was a betrayal to the residents. “We are the affected residents. How can they not have consulted nor informed us of the decision to approve the project?” he asked, adding that the residents would continue to protest against the project.