THE food court and anaerobic digestion plant (AD) project in Ampang, Selangor will go ahead despite protests against it, says the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ).
Its president Mohd Fauzi Mohd Yatim gave an assurance that the project would have minimal impact on traffic and the environment.
Stakeholders were told this during a special briefing organised by MPAJ.
“Many of the concerns brought up, especially its proximity to the Hindu cemetery, were discussed and explained.
“There have been successful AD plants in other areas such as Petaling Jaya, (Selangor) and Kulim (Kedah).
“We hope to get this for the Ampang community too.
“We will ensure there will be no leachate spills,” he said when contacted.
Mohd Fauzi added that an exemption for planning permission for the project was issued by the MPAJ Town Planning Department on Feb 26, as allowed under Section 19(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172).
Section 19(1) states that: “No person, other than a local authority, shall commence, undertake, or carry out any development unless planning permission in respect of the development has been granted to him under Section 22 or extended under subsection 24(3).”
“As the project is being undertaken by MPAJ, with allocation from the Housing and Local Government Ministry, an exemption to the planning permission can be granted,” he added.
MPAJ had said that the AD was one way to tackle excessive food waste by processing it into compost for fertiliser and to generate electricity from the biogas produced.
One of the groups that had objected to the AD was the association managing the 60-year-old Ampang/Ulu Kelang Hindu Cemetery as the plant would be located in front of the burial site.
The AD site is also currently being used as a parking lot by cemetery visitors.
Mohd Fauzi said 14 parking spaces would be created for visitors to the food court, AD plant and cemetery.
“There were also concerns that the food court and AD would be temporary structures because of a ‘temporary permit’ notice at the site.
“This is not for the food court, but for the hoarding around the site.”
He added that the location was strategic as it would be adjacent to the upcoming food court so food waste would go directly to the AD.
Earlier, MPAJ had said that the AD would only take up 22% of the 0.15ha land, and it would retain the carpark and include more landscaping.
The food court will house traders currently operating in Lorong Kerja Ayer Lama.
Mohd Fauzi said the land the project was being built on belonged to the government, and it was in the process of being gazetted as a public facility.
Meanwhile, Hindu Cemetery Crematorium Ampang Association secretary Saradha K. Suppiah, who represented the committee at the briefing, said they agreed to the landscaping and upgrading of the carpark area.
“We were concerned that the project would affect operations at the burial site.
“I suggested that they relocate the AD plant elsewhere, but MPAJ assured that there would be trained personnel managing the facility,” she said, adding that the association objected to the project from the beginning because there was no prior discussion.
Saradha also said that the association was concerned about the environmental and traffic impact as well as maintenance in the long term.
Also present during the briefing were Selangor housing, urban well-being and entrepreneur development committee chairman Rodziah Ismail, who is also Ampang parliament coordinator, Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation representatives as well as MPAJ heads of department.