Great care taken to ensure beautiful tropical plants beautify MRT stretch

THE landscaping works for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (Line 1) will feature a uniformed tropical Malaysian ambience with lush green flora that complements its surrounding environment.

The Project Delivery Partner (PDP) for Line 1 is working on creating a visually pleasing yet environmentally sustainable landscaping for the entire 51km alignment.

“The proposed landscape architecture for all the elevated and underground packages are done in accordance to the requirements and regulations set by the authorities such as local councils and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd,” said MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP) Sdn Bhd deputy construction director Adil Putra Ahmad.

“PDP is working closely with all Works Package Contractors (WPCs) who are executing the approved landscape architecture plans,” he said.

Adil said the overall landscaping and design process cover several stages:

·A certified arborist is appointed to conduct ground survey and produce a tree inventory as part of the Trees Conservation and Landscape Management (TCLM) Report. The arborist will submit the report providing recommendations on the types of trees that are suitable for relocation, based on criteria such as species, aesthetic value, age and trunk diameter. In instances where trees belonging to the relevant local councils need to be cut, the councils will be compensated. Trees that can be transplanted are placed in nurseries belonging to local councils.

·TCLM report is submitted to the relevant local councils and infrastructure corridor owners for approval, such as Petaling Jaya City Council, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Works Department and highway concessionaires.

·After TCLM reports for all packages are approved by the relevant authorities, the landscape architect will design the landscaping works for the various elevated packages

·Landscape designs are submitted to the relevant local councils and infrastructure corridor owners for approval

·Approved landscape plans are implemented for all elevated packages by WPCs.

“We have come up with the best landscape plans to optimise the greenery wherever possible to create a beautiful sight for MRT commuters,” said Adil.

He added that the bulk of the landscaping work would be for the elevated stations and tracks.

However, Adil said designing Line 1’s landscape was not easy as the consultants had to deal with challenges such as lack of space, site terrain and guidelines set by local authorities (for example, no trees being allowed below the elevated track).

“A certain number of trees has to be relocated to make way for construction works, and part of the challenge is also because not all trees can be replaced on-site due to space constraints.

“In instances where trees cannot be saved, new flora will be planted along the alignment to enrich the aesthetic appeal, and provide ecological and ground support for the locality.

“The landscape blueprint has to be practical, easy to maintain and cater for maximum shade to protect commuters from the scorching afternoon sun and rainy weather,” said Adil.

“The design also features the hibiscus to incorporate a national identity,” said Veritas Landscape Sdn Bhd principal Zulkefli Ahmed.

“The plants used are all local species suited for the tropical weather and require minimal maintenance. The same plant species will be used at all stations, which range from trees to shrubs, and ground cover to turfing.”

Zulkefli said the landscaping aims to make the stations more lively and pleasant with shady trees and local flowers.

“The landscape design also serves to minimise maintenance cost and vandalism. Vertical landscaping such as creepers will be implemented in areas where space is limited to ‘soften’ the hard surface,” he said.

At this point, Adil said the basic TCLM Report had been approved, while the landscape designs are awaiting approval from the relevant authorities.

“It will take about three to five years for the flora to fully mature,” he said.

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