Tree-t it right: An aerial view of the Ampang Forest Reserve which forms one part of the Selangor State Park. — GLENN GUAN / The Star
PETALING JAYA: The Government must review the need for the Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road (KLORR) project, as the Selangor State Park (SSP) – which it cuts through – contains vital water catchment areas, said environmental groups.
The Protection of the Selangor State Park coalition said it was greatly concerned over the proposal to degazette 106.55ha of land from four forest reserves in Selangor, namely the Ampang, Bukit Seputeh, Ulu Gombak and Ulu Langat forest reserves, for the KLORR.
The Ampang and Ulu Gombak reserves are part of the SSP, the most important catchment area for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
“The need for KLORR was based on a report prepared 15 years ago. Since then, the Federal Government has been intensifying efforts to improve and promote the use of public transportation,” said the coalition, which comprises WWF-Malaysia, Malaysian Nature Society, Save Our Sungai Selangor and Treat Every Environment Special.
The Selangor Government, it pointed out, planned to increase public transportation ridership to 40% in the future from 5% currently as well as implement the Transit on Demand plan to minimise movement of vehicles into the city and reduce traffic and air pollution.
“We can live with traffic jams until the public transportation system improves but we cannot live without water,” it said.
The coalition said the Ampang intake plant supplied 19 million litres of potable water per day to 9,225 accounts while the Ulu Gombak forest reserve was a water catchment area for the Klang Gates Dam which reportedly supplied water to 80,000 households and businesses in the Klang Valley.
It also questioned the effectiveness of holding a public inquiry, noting that despite members of the public and NGOs urging the state government to change the road alignment since 2009, efforts had proved fruitless.
It also said that every concerned Malaysian should have the right to object to the degazettement.
The Selangor Forestry Department had placed a notice in major dailies on Feb 14, inviting stakeholders in the Ulu Langat and Gombak districts to voice their objections to the proposal within 30 days.