AS A strategic town situated within 30 minutes by road to KL International Airport (KLIA) and Kuala Lumpur, and about 20 minutes to Putrajaya, Kajang is expected to expand as more people from other places move in to the satay town.
To many of its residents, Kajang acts like a satellite town to Putrajaya, similar to how Petaling Jaya once was to Kuala Lumpur.
This means more green areas will make way for development, creating more traffic congestions in the town, especially during peak hours.
Firstly, Kajang needs fields for children to play and old folk to exercise, or where families can be free to do whatever they want safely in the morning or evening.
Massive developments since the 1980s have transformed Kajang into a concrete jungle with less playgrounds and fields, defeating the call on the people to develop a healthy lifestyle.
Trees being cut down indiscriminately over the years added to the concrete character of the town. Potted plants and palm trees that were once placed along roads were not taken care of and in due time, dried up and died a natural death.
Developments were carried out without proper town planning. To comply with regulations, developers provided the barest minimum facilities. Years later down the road, many playgrounds were left to deteriorate, and finally, they became unsafe to use or simply unusable.
At the moment, the only place where people can exercise is the town padang. That small field can no longer contain the joggers, footballers and those who just want to take a walk around the running track.
It is just too congested and cramped to have hundreds of people at any one time. Yet people are storming the ground to exercise as there are no alternatives.
In short, Kajang needs more fields to meet the demand of the youth and older generation.
Secondly, it is time to create a new market as the current market in the heart of the town is too small for expansion, or to have more traders selling other items other than vegetables and meat.
This small market was built sometime in the 1980s to cater to the needs of the population. However, since then, many people from elsewhere have moved in and Kajang is now in need of a bigger market to serve the people better. Parking in the market area is also a problem throughout the day.
The Sungei Chua market has in a way lessened the burden on the town market and served the people well, but it has no more space for expansion. On weekends, it is always congested and jam-packed to the maximum.
Needless to say, the people living in Sungei Chua and surrounding areas deserve a bigger market as the population has increased many folds since the 1980s.
Thirdly, the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and elected representatives ought to find ways to improve the traffic flow, especially along Jalan Semenyih, Jalan Besar, Jalan Sulaiman and Jalan Bukit.
During peak hours when the school session ends and when people return home from work, traffic in Kajang comes to a standstill. Installing more traffic lights in the past years helped improve the situation, but it means people are getting home later and not sooner because dispersing heavy traffic takes time.
The police do help to control and direct the traffic flow during peak hours, or the congestions can be many times worse.
Cars from Seremban or Semenyih can be diverted to highways rather than going through the town to ensure a better flow of traffic along the said roads.
A brainstorming session with the police, MPKj, state assemblyman and other stakeholders can unveil a number of solutions to overcome the traffic woes.
Fourthly, with so many new housing developments stretching from the town towards Semenyih and Bangi, it is inevitable that more infrastructures are needed to meet the demands of the increasing population such as flyovers, under-passes and one-way traffic roads, among others.
Many people are relocating to Kajang to take advantage of its strategic location to several major places such as KLIA, Putrajaya, Hospital Serdang, Hospital Putrajaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and private universities such as Infrastructure Universiti KL, Universiti Tenaga, ERA University College and Universiti Tuanku Abdul Rahman Sungai Long.
The fifth problem is, there are so many residential areas in Kajang that one can lose count of them. I can easily deduce Kajang has mor than 50 with various names that can confuse people.
Even the use of Waze may not be helpful and lead you elsewhere. I would suggest an integration of these residential areas, rename them and the roads to reflect an organised and well-planned township.
MPKj and those entrusted with taking care of Kajang ought to do their best to reflect the town’s character, failing which, is a let-down to the inhabitants as they are paying millions yearly into the municipality’s coffer for the upkeep of the town.
DR TAN ENG BEE