THE objective of the proposed Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (Suke) is to help alleviate traffic on the Middle Ring Road 2, but this has not gone down well with residents in Cheras.
They are worried they might lose their homes to make way for Suke as it cuts through several residential areas.
Many of them are from Taman Bukit Cheras, Taman Len Seng and Taman Bukit Manda’rina.
Talk on acquiring land for the highway project is making Taman Bukit Cheras resident, Harpal Kaur worried.
She said some of the affected residents had attended a briefing on March 27, which included the topic of the beautification of Kuala Lumpur.
“It looks like some 300 houses will be affected. People around the area have already received letters from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). We have prepared objection letters to DBKL, Ampang Jaya Municipal Council and the Malaysian Highway Authority.
“We don’t want an elevated highway in a residential area because these are our homes. Many of us have finished paying for our houses, so to start all over again in another area is unimaginable. It is an inconvenience to us,” she said.
Retired corporal Abu Hassan Hasim is also not in favour of the Suke project.
“At this age, retirement is the only thing on my mind, not relocation.
“They should be aware of our interest instead of ad hoc planning. It boils down to bad planning.
“They are trying to create a situation where no one wants to live in the city. Only elevated roads will be making their mark,” he said.
Meanwhile, traffic planner Goh Bok Yen said there were strong rationale behind the residents’ concerns.
He said the overall objective and negative impact of the project should be looked at for users and non-users of the expressway.
“It is a bad idea to have the expressway along collector roads as they are not made to accomodate high-speed and high capacity traffic. This will create a negative traffic environment.
“An example is the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (Duke), which taps into the MRR2. It is not balanced as Duke’s seven lanes merge into three lanes in MRR2 which creates a bottleneck, causing traffic congestion.
“Looking at all the 14 interchanges proposed for Suke, they are likely to create 14 bottlenecks at the exits. Bad traffic planning in Ulu Kelang has caused terrible congestion in the area. This could happen to densely populated Cheras too if Suke is built.
He also said ideally if the residents could live without a highway, why would they need Suke.
“Malaysian highway concessionaires are unable to visualise the actual traffic scenario. In theory everything should be okay but not in practice. You want a dispersal system but will it reduce the stress on MRR2 better than today?” he asked.
Goh added that city planners should be sensible towards the environment as it had an impact on the residents.
According to Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, the ministry has asked the respective agencies to carry out a public hearing.
He said the process of giving out notices were done in two stages — first to inform and the second under the National Land Code 1965.
“Eventually they may only acquire a smaller area but notices will be given out to a larger spectrum of the population,” he said.
The 31.8km elevated expressway will link major highways in the eastern Klang Valley, including Duke, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh), Besraya, KL-Seremban Highway, Cheras-Kajang Highway, Kesas and MRR2.
Suke will start in Sri Petaling before passing through Sungai Besi, Alam Damai, Cheras-Kajang, Taman Bukit Permai, Taman Putra, Taman Permai Jaya, Taman Dagang Permai, Taman Kosas, Ampang and Taman Hillview and exit at Ulu Kelang.
There will be 14 interchanges at Sri Petaling, Sungai Besi, Alam Damai, Cheras-Kajang, Taman Bukit Teratai, Taman Putra, Taman Permai, Taman Dagang, Ampang, Taman Hillview and Ulu Kelang.
Three toll plazas will be built along the expressway at Pekan Ampang, Alam Damai and between Taman Bukit Permai 2 and Taman Bukit Segar Jaya.