PETALING JAYA: The federal government should disclose the studies that led to the approval of three new highways, including the elevated highway in Petaling Jaya, for public scrutiny, said an assemblyman.
DAP’s Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said the approvals were announced after a long period of silence from the works ministry, although rumours of the revival of the Petaling Jaya Traffic Dispersal Elevated Highway (PJD Link) had been circulating for the past two years.
“Suddenly, we hear that the federal government has approved these projects without any public consultation whatsoever,” he said in a statement.
Rajiv said there had been no disclosures on justifications, traffic, environmental and social impact studies.
“To add insult to injury, senior minister Fadillah ‘hopes’ that the highway will improve connectivity. He himself doesn’t seem too convinced,” he said, referring to works minister Fadillah Yusof’s recent statement.
Rajiv said it was baffling that there were no calls for studies to be carried out and instead of being based on solid facts, decisions had been made based on “hope”.
“We all know that any new elevated highway in a matured township like PJ is going to cause major negatives, such as noise, dust, making the city ugly and taking up precious space that could be devoted to future LRT lines.”
He added that the new highways could worsen congestion if ramps were not placed in the right locations.
His comments came after Fadillah said that the government had approved proposals from the private sector for the construction of new highways.
“With these new highways, we hope the connectivity within the Klang Valley and with the rest of the country will improve,” Fadillah said at the ministry’s Hari Raya celebration.
However, he said there was no guarantee that these new highways would alleviate traffic congestion due to the increasing number of vehicles on the road.
Besides PJD Link, the other projects are the Putrajaya–Bangi Expressway (PBE) and the Kuala Lumpur Northern Dispersal Expressway (KL-NODE).