KLANG residents are in support of Klang Municipal Council's (MPK) plan to spend an estimated RM2.5mil to restore the neglected Chetty Padang in Jalan Bukit Jawa, Klang.
MPK Gardens Parks and Recreation Department acting director Nurul Huda Bahrom said the council planned to revitalise and return the old sports field to its original purpose for it to function as a high quality public space.
She said with the upgrading project, people would have access to more public parks and public amenities.
“Our department’s aim is to spur a new era of resident engagement, public involvement and community building.
"The approved allocation gives MPK an opportunity to turn this triangular-shaped field, the size of a little more than three football fields, into an urban oasis for people to come together.
It is the only green lung in the area, ” she said.
Chetty Padang which is within Little India's enclave was popular back in the 1940s to 1980s as a public space for sporting activities such as cricket and hockey.
Nurul said MPK was working with a landscape architecture, environmental planning and urban design firm to transform the 1.34ha field at Lot. 42 to a place that would appeal to millennials, senior citizens, sports enthusiasts and children.
“In engaging with the public, we know that many of them want sporting facilities to be maintained and enhanced.
"We understand that the field has been used since the mid-1940s as a training ground for cricket, football, hockey and athletics.
"It was a wide parcel of land until the 1970s but more than half has been taken up for the south Klang Police Department headquarters and a carpark across the Hindu temple, ” she said.
Nurul said a dry fountain plaza, maze garden, multipurpose games courts, chess plaza, terrace seating, seating plaza, football field, mini grand stand and jogging track were among the ideas proposed by the consultant architect and urban designer.
“In the recommended plans, an archway with the proposed name Taman Warisan will be built at the main entrance which is along the same road as the Sri Nagara Thandayuthapani Temple, Jalan Bukit Jawa.
"We also plan to have at least 25 food trucks.
"Our goal is to create more job opportunities for locals in tourism, ” she said.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KLSICCI) Klang Chapter chairman N.P. Raman said it was good news to learn that MPK had plans to make Little India more appealing to locals and tourists.
“MPK’s Gardens Parks and Recreation Department is doing the right thing as the public park can be a catalyst for positive change in Little India towards community building, ” he said.
“MPK must also consider using timber wood for the benches and picnic tables.
"The new field must also be child-friendly with the use of grass over concrete for the ground.
"The park must also cater to senior citizens and take into account their needs and mobility issues, ” he said.
Resident Robert Lee, 71, said Klangites were happy with MPK's decision to upgrade the field and that it was long overdue and a huge milestone.
“It is a huge investment but will benefit the public as it will inject urban vibrancy at the field," he said.
Lee said the urban planner should hold an exhibition of the proposed project for people to understand the plans and give constructive input.
Little India businessman Michael Lim, 72, gave the thumbs up for the project and agreed with Lee that stakeholders should be kept informed on plans for the project through an exhibition or artist impression on social media.
“These days, people connect on social media and it will be good if MPK puts up the plans for people to have better understanding of what to expect. I support the refurbishment of Chetty Padang as it will create a people-centred urban space and strengthen ties between the people, ” he added.
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