Taman Tugu project gets the go-ahead

A computer generated image of the Taman Tugu project from an observation deck. — filepic

THE Taman Tugu project’s 27ha urban forest park has received all the key approvals needed for it to kick off.

According to Taman Tugu Project Development Sdn Bhd executive director Calvin Raqeem Jacob, the park, which is the first component of the project, received its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval on Feb 24.

“The approved Development Order was obtained on April 26 while the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) approval was obtained on May 18,” he said in an e-mail response following a status update document released on the project.

According to the status update by the Taman Tugu Project team under Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the Transport Impact Assessment, which considers the impact the project may have on its surrounding spaces including the National Monument and Padang Merbok, has been completed and submitted.

The tender process has also commenced for the north-east region of the park, which includes a surau, quarters and food stalls, besides the supply, planting, maintenance and warranty of the trees.

“The tender period was extended because there were insufficient submissions from qualified bidders.

“The tendering period is now closed and all qualified bids are being evaluated. Results should be announced very soon,” the document stated.

Meanwhile, for the east, west and southern region of the park (Family, Outdoor and Education areas), invitations to tender were supposed to have been issued to qualified tenderers early last month.

“However, this has been delayed to early-July as additional requirements to better conserve the topology of the site are being incorporated.

“This entails a value engineering exercise to ensure costs remain within budget while maintaining the overall intent of the park,” the document reported.

It also stated that the community park’s area is on track for com-pletion by the fourth quarter of 2018 while the rest of the park is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.

Another update was that public engagement sessions commenced from Sept 9, 2016, and more than 30 engagement sessions were held including open dialogues as well as closed discussions with special interest groups such as environmental groups, architect and landscape associations, running and cycling enthusiast groups, tourism councils, edu-cational institutions, government ministries and members of Parliament.

“Feedback obtained from the public engagement sessions validated what was already included in the masterplan or while some were new ideas that had been incorporated and others were still being considered,” said Jacob.

These include the site of Taman Tugu to remain as natural and green as possible with amenities such as parking, food and beverage areas included as necessary.

“The feedback included some outdoor activities such as ziplining and flying fox, which will be good but should be confined to only a small section of the park.

“The public also want priority to walking and running trails as well as accessibility for the disabled and visitors of all ages,” Jacob said.

Other feedback included minimising covered walkways and emphasising the naturally-shaded pedestrian linkages to and within the site as well as involving the community in the rehabilitation of the site and to consider establishing a “Friends of Taman Tugu” community group that can facilitate volunteer programmes for those interested in getting involved.

The Taman Tugu Project is a multi-component not-for-profit corporate social responsibility initiative led by Khazanah Nasional Bhd in collaboration with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Overall, up to RM650mil has been set aside for the project covering the four components which are conserving and activating a 27ha urban forest park (up to RM190mil), connecting the surrounding area with pedestrian-friendly walkways (up to RM175mil), development of a learning and innovation centre (up to RM185mil) and establishment of a national public trust to own and manage the 27ha urban forest park, including operations, maintenance, partnerships and community development up to the year 2030 (RM100mil).

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