KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will proceed with the stalled cable car project at Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Batu Caves, says MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said the public transport facility was essential to allow senior citizens, members of the disabled community and tourists to visit the highest cave in Batu Caves without having to climb the 272 steps.
“We want to build the cable car but there had been some constraints in getting approval from the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).
“We accept MPS’ decision in regard to the ecosystem and environment.
“But at the same time, we will continue to discuss with the council and the relevant parties,” he said after launching the Thaipusam celebrations here yesterday.
In 2011, an agreement of understanding was signed between the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple management and Damodar Ropeways and Constructions Pty Ltd to build the 250m cable car facility.
Construction of the RM10mil project was to have been completed in 2014 but MPS halted it on June 6 that year after finding that some structures were built in the area without planning approval.
On the Thaipusam celebrations this year, Dr Subramaniam said it was the 126th to be held at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, which is among the major venues where devotees congregate annually.
In the last 10 days, about 1.4 million Hindu devotees had come to the temple to perform their religious obligations, he said.
Dr Subramaniam also thanked the police for the good job in ensuring everyone’s safety throughout the celebrations.
He also expressed sadness over an accident along the KL-Seremban Highway on Saturday that killed three devotees who were on their way to Batu Caves.
Three others were seriously injured when a car ploughed through a group of 45 devotees who were walking along the emergency lane from Seremban to perform their religious rituals.
“This incident has raised the question of the safety of devotees not only at Batu Caves, but all over the country,” said Dr Subramaniam.
“I again ask for the assistance of the police on this matter in order to avoid similar incidents in the future.”
Yesterday, MIC leaders, including the party president, visited the injured victims at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital.
MIC has pledged to provide aid to the victims’ families.