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Tuesday April 15, 2008

Residents all out to stop hypermarket project


AMID chants of protest against the construction of a new hypermarket, labourers continued their work as usual.

About 100 Kota Damansara residents gathered at the construction site in Kota Damansara recently to protest against the project, as it would affect their daily life.

Speaking out: Some of the residents carrying placards and banners against the construction work.

Residents from D’Villa Avenue, D’Villa Botany, Gugusan Dedap, Bayu Damansara, R. T. Seri Utama (Section 5) and Damansara Emas picketed and shouted at lorries carrying construction materials into the site.

According to Gugusan Dedap Residents Association representative Zamaruddin Zainuddin, the land was initially approved for the development of 30 double-storey shophouses.

However, the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) converted the original plan to a hypermarket and construction began last December.

“The location is inappropriate for a hypermarket, as it is near a primary school and surrounded by residential areas.

“Schoolchildren would be expo- sed to all kinds of negative influences, which would lead to absenteeism, truancy and many other social problems,” Zamaruddin said, adding that most children from Gugusan Dedap walked and cycled to the school.

Unpopular: The project has drawn the ire of residents from several nearby neighbourhoods.

Another R.T. Seri Utama (Section 5) representative Simon Lau said once the hypermarket began operations, it would subject the residents to endless traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, parents have complained that their daughters were teased and disturbed by some of the foreign labourers living at the site.

Kota Damansara MP Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim said the protest had shown that Kota Damasara residents were sensitive to and aware of issues involving them.

Ras Adiba: We also have workers on duty at all times to monitor lorries entering and leaving the site.

“We have reported the matter to the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and they will issue a stop-work order to the developer.

“Besides, they also went against MBPJ rules that prohibit work from being carried out on weekends,” he said.

Developer Magnificient Diagraph Sdn Bhd public relations and corporate social responsibility director Ras Adiba Radzi said the company had discussed the matter with MBPJ and reached an agreement concerning the residents’ grouses two weeks ago.

“We also have workers on duty at all times to monitor the lorries entering and leaving the construction site,” she said, adding that it would be better to have a meeting with the residents.

Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman held a meeting with the town planners to discuss the various factors of concern in the building of the new hypermarket in the area.

“We have conducted the meeting and are waiting for the final reports from the planners on the next course of action,” a MBPJ spokesman said.

Dr Mohd Nasir: The protest had shown that Kota Damansara residents are sensitive to and aware of issues involving them.

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