PETALING JAYA: Residents of Petaling Jaya have stepped up pressure on the Selangor government to scrap the proposed Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) elevated highway project over traffic and environmental concerns.
Some 200 residents attended a town hall meeting held at a community hall in Damansara Utama on Saturday (march 18) to voice their objection to the project.
It featured talks by local activists, concerned residents and academicians about the potential dangers of the highway.
Stakeholders-cum-Residents Against PJD Link chairman David Yoong said some residents met with top officials of the highway concessionaire.
He said several concerns were raised including the poor connectivity of PJD Link to existing highways and its design.
"The proposed route runs too close to many existing buildings, raising concerns over the impact on these structures and site safety," he said.
He also questioned the lack of space for the placement of drains along the project site to capture silt and debris.
He noted that a guideline by Malaysian Highway Authority stipulated that highwaysnust be built at least 13m away from residential areas.
Fellow activist Justin Lee Kah Wai said PJD Link was a step backwards in Petaling Jaya City Council's aspiration to achieve a low-carbon status by 2030.
"Building more highways does not disperse traffic, it will encourage more people to drive," said Lee, who is an architectural design lecturer.
SS2C resident Alice Tan said the proposed highway would increase the temperature in Petaling Jaya by trapping more heat.
"More trees will be cut down for the project. In urban areas, the recommended ratio for trees is between 20 to 25sq m per person.
"More heat and particulate matter will also be released from vehicles using the highway," she said.
Tan added that the vibration and noise coming from PJD Link would affect the health of nearby residents.
Also present at the event were Jamaliah Jamaluddin and Syamsul Firdaus Mohamed Supri, assemblymen of Bandar Utama and Taman Medan, respectively.
Jamaliah said she would forward the residents' concerns to the state government and relevant authorities.
PJD Link is a proposed 34.3km expressway between Damansara in Petaling Jaya and Kinrara in Puchong.
On March 1, Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, in a written reply to Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung in Parliament, said the highway concessionaire was in the midst of fulfilling the conditions stipulated in the concession agreement.
He said the developer was carrying out several assessments, including the environmental, traffic and social impact.
The government, he noted, was unable to provide further details as the agreement was classified under the Official Secrets Act 1972.
During the state assembly sitting last July, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state had yet to grant approval for the project.
He said the concessionaire had not given their plans to address the issues outlined in the environmental, social and traffic impact assessments.