Shelter for the homeless in KL to be completed by year end

Concerned: Ahmad Phesal acknowledged that the number of homeless people has increased.

The homeless shelter in front of Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said earth works began a month ago.

“The project on the 12,000 sq ft of land will implemented by Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) as part of its CSR efforts,” he said after his meeting with Kuala Lumpur MPs on Friday at Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) headquarters.

The other location for a shelter is a former hotel in Jalan Chow Kit.

He said the landowner and DBKL had yet to reach an agreement on the terms of the sale and purchase for the premises.

“We are still in the process of acquiring the premises,” he said.

He also said three temporary cabins would be placed in Medan Tuanku for the homeless while waiting for the two permanent shelters to be completed.

He said one cabin had already been placed there and electricity and water would be connected soon.

“There will be two more cabins set up in the area.

“We are hoping to start operations in one month,” he said.

He said the temporary cabins would be used for food distribution, shower and resting purposes.

Ahmad Phesal acknowledged that the number of homeless people has increased but could not provide a figure.

“We will discuss with non-governmental organisations on ways to register them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated upgrading of Jalan Alor will finally take off this year, after being delayed.

Ahmad Phesal said the project was expected to take off in June and completed within 18 months.

“Through our engagements with hawkers and residents, the response has been positive,” he said.

He said the project would include changes to the structures of the stalls, improving drainage and the relocation of utility pipes and cables.

“We will try our best to shorten the period of implementation,” he said.

On Aug 22, 2013, Ahmad Phesal had announced that the project, estimated to cost RM12mil, to turn Jalan Alor into a food paradise of international standards would begin in October 2013 and was to be completed within 11 months.

However, it was delayed due to problems concerning pipes.

He had said that none of the residents of the more than 200 apartments and 100 traders in the area would be displaced by the project.

Ahmad Phesal also said that the MPs had expressed concern on the need for public housing.

“There is a critical need for supply of affordable housing to those who come to Kuala Lumpur to work,” he said.

He said he would discuss with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on the proposal to create a fund for public housing.

On the proposal that Jalan Sultan in Kuala Lumpur be transformed into a hawker street for young traders, Ahmad Phesal said they would consider the suggestion of changing the location to Jalan Panggung and Jalan Polis.

On Feb 16, StarMetro reported that business owners in Jalan Sultan in Kuala Lumpur were protesting against the proposal to transform the main road into a hawker street for young traders as they were not consulted on it.

Datuk Khong Kim Lyew, who operates Kwong Fook Wing tailoring shop on Jalan Sultan, had said the traders were against the proposal by City Hall as traffic congestion was a major concern in the area.

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