End to worries about PJD Link

Residents living near the proposed PJD Link route are relieved they don’t have to worry about pollution. — Filepic

STAKEHOLDERS hope the latest announcement on the cancellation of Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) will be the end of the road for the tolled highway.

Stakeholders cum Residents Against PJD Link (ScRAP) chairman David Yoong Lai Hon said those living in Petaling Jaya and Bandar Kinrara can now put their worries to rest about all the issues involved in the construction of the expressway, including pollution.

“We want the state government to take further steps to make sure this urban tolled highway is entirely removed from the Selangor State Structure Plan 2035,” he said when contacted.

Yoong says the concessionaire agreement signed by the previous Federal Government should be cancelled.Yoong says the concessionaire agreement signed by the previous Federal Government should be cancelled.Caretaker Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari had announced that the proposal to build PJD Link which had received conditional approval was subject to the submission of environmental, traffic and social impact assessment reports.

He said the state government was not satisfied with the social impact report submitted as it did not meet the conditions set by the state government.

“As such, the Selangor government has no intention to proceed with the proposal and has decided to cancel the plan to build PJD Link,” said Amirudin, adding he wanted to ensure a balance between the people’s interests and Selangor’s economic development and sustainability.

The PJD Link is a proposed 25.4km dual-lane tolled elevated expressway connecting Damansara to Bandar Kinrara in Selangor.

Yoong said the Pakatan Harapan government at federal level must go on to cancel the concessionaire agreement signed on April 5, 2022 by the previous government.

“Pakatan must uphold the practice of accountability and transparency in the implementation of public infrastructure projects.

“No more direct awards to private developers, even those who fund the projects via private financing.

“Procurement procedures must be improved by calling for an open and competitive tender,” he said.

Yoong added that the government must practise more public consultation before any project proposal is forwarded.

“PJ residents want a check and balance mechanism that must be further enhanced by multiple independent overseeing agencies,” he said.

Derek Fernandez, a lawyer who is a local government and planning law expert, said the decision to scrap PJD Link is in accordance with policies in the Petaling Jaya local plans.

“These policies do not encourage elevated intracity tolled highways.

“They give priority to mass public transport or dual purpose infrastructure that helps flood mitigation.

“Furthermore, elevated highway infrastructure running over mature and dense cities are inconsistent with sustainable low-carbon city goals.”

Section 10 Residents Association president Ronald Danker said the decision will save many residents’ houses from the bulldozer, as some may have had to make way for the highway.

“Majority of residents feel that more important projects should be developed, like a new government hospital or amenities that can benefit senior citizens,” he added.

The proposal for the highway’s construction was approved in principle by the Cabinet in November 2017.

In September 2020, the state government approved the project in principle, subject to impact assessment reports.

The PJD Link Expressway would have connected the north and south of Petaling Jaya.

On June 17, it was reported that PJD Link (M) Sdn Bhd, the concessionaire for the project, had secured RM922mil in financing for the project from MCC Overseas (M) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of China Metallurgical Group Corporation.

PJD Link çhief executive officer Amrish Hari Narayanan could not be reached for comments at press time.

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