Residents fear designated football field in Brickfields being turned into carpark

An aerial view of land in Brickfields meant to be used as a football field (top left corner) being levelled for a carpark to overcome double-parking in the area.

KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has abandoned its plan to build a football field in Brickfields to replace the one that was demolished four years ago.

This is despite mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah approving plans last year to build a modest field with basic facilities on DBKL’s former sports club land along Jalan Tun Sambanthan 1.

Sources from DBKL told StarMetro that the football field project was not going to happen.

“There are parties who have other plans for that land, ” added the source without revealing anymore information.

This revelation came last weekend when residents living in and around the area spotted a front loader and a road roller at the site.

The land was cleared and machines were levelling the land.

When contacted, a DBKL spokesperson said the city would use the land as a carpark in the interim as there was a need for parking space in the area.

“We will ensure that the land does not become a health hazard or a breeding ground for snakes or a hangout for drunkards and drug addicts. The area will be turned into a public carpark for the time being, ” said the spokesperson.

“The parking will be for DBKL staff working at the DBKL Lembah Pantai branch office in Tun Sambanthan Complex as well as for the public.

“We have received complaints of people double-parking on road kerbs when they are out shopping in Brickfields, due to the proximity of Little India to the area.

The former DBKL sports club land in Jalan Tun Sambanthan Brickfields is being cleared.The former DBKL sports club land in Jalan Tun Sambanthan Brickfields is being cleared.

“Once the facility (parking) is ready, our enforcement team will not hesitate to issue summons to those caught double-parking, ” added the spokesperson.

However, some residents questioned DBKL’s decision to build a carpark on the land as Tun Sambanthan Complex’s carpark — which is next to the land — was underutilised.

“Over 180 parking bays are available at the complex at RM5 for the entire day, yet it is not being used.

“Why build another carpark next to it?” asked Suresh Ramanathan who lives nearby.

He said the RM16mil complex was built to house roadside traders as well as provide additional parking bays for customers and people who came to Brickfields to shop.

Another resident, John Baptist, asked if the carpark would be leased to a third party or managed by DBKL.

Last year, StarMetro reported on Mahadi’s pledge to build a football field with basic facilities such as toilets, changing rooms and a carpark in the interim.

He said the arrangement was only for the time being to provide space for the community to play football and organise other sports activities.

It would also be installed with floodlights so that people could play at night and have cow grass just like Merdeka Square.

Mahadi said he had been getting requests from the community for a football field after the sports complex was demolished and the nearby Cruyff Court was closed up.

The sports complex was initially supposed to be built in the first quarter of this year.

The former DBKL sports club football field was demolished on April 18,2017, to make way for a new building costing RM50mil.

The project was cancelled by former Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin in June 2018, to cut DBKL’s expenditure.

Federal Territories Director of Land and Mines Office director Datuk Muhammad Yasir Yahya told StarMetro that no title had been issued for the land and that it was “still under warta (gazettement).”

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