Rallying to stop highway project

Damansara Perdana residents staging a rally to protest against the DASH project. With them are residents from the Say No to SUKE (Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway) group.

RESIDENTS of Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya, held a peaceful rally yesterday to protest against the Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway (DASH) project.

The rally, organised by Say No To DASH (SNTD), also saw a signature drive to petition the Selangor government not to degazette the Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve to make way for DASH.

“We came across an advertisement by the state Forestry Department with a proposal to degazette the forest.

“The advertisement called for written objections to be submitted within 30 days of publication,” SNTD member V. Manimaran said, adding that it was published in an English daily on March 16.

“We want to know who placed this advertisement and why, since there has been no official confirmation that the project has been approved,” Manimaran said.

SNTD spokesman K.W. Mak said the group had held numerous meetings with the state government and submitted several letters but had yet to receive any official response from the authorities.

“SNTD has been fighting against DASH since 2012 and Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, who is also State Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman, has promised she would look into it at each meeting.

“We invited her to the rally, but neither she nor her assistant responded to our messages,” Mak said.

“All we ask is the realignment of the highway. Damansara Perdana does not have the space for such a huge structure,” SNTD member Laveen Bala added.

SNTD spokesman Alvin Chin said, “The advertisement calling for objections against degazettement is the latest indication that construction of DASH would proceed despite the state government saying approval had yet to be given.

“Other indicators are the advertisements calling for tenders to bid for the project published late last year and a recent notification for land acquisition of a showroom in Kota Damansara to make way for DASH.”

The rally ended with residents sending mass text messages to Wong and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali stating “Damansara Perdana does not want DASH. Realign now”.

DASH will be a 20.1km, three-lane dual-carriage expressway from Puncak Perdana in Shah Alam to the Penchala interchange in Petaling Jaya.

The RM11.5bil expressway with 12 interchanges plans to link to the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) and Sprint Highway.

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