No new highways allowed for PJ, says MBPJ councillor refuting mega-project news

PETALING JAYA: The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will not allow for any new highway to run across the city in accordance with the city's local plan, says Petaling Jaya City Councillor Derek Fernandez.

He was refuting a news report which stated that a new highway across Petaling Jaya was among several mega-infrastructure projects which are expected to kick off following the Budget 2020 announcement.

He said even if there is a deal was signed for a new highway in the city to solve intracity traffic woes, it would be against the law as the Petaling Jaya Local Plan 1 (Third Revision) was a legal document.

He added that MBPJ would not allow anything to go against the local plan.

"The local plan does not provide for any 'highway running across Petaling Jaya' or allow one in the nature of Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) or any Kidex derivative.

"In fact, the PJ Local Plan 1 through its recent amendments positively discourages any intracity highway running across the city," said Fernandez in a press statement on Thursday (Oct 10).

In 2015, Kidex, costing about RM2.42bil, was supposed to cut across Petaling Jaya from the New Klang Valley Expressway’s Damansara exit, before ending at the Bukit Jalil Highway. However, it was called off after protests from the city residents.

In 2017, PJD Link, too, met with protest and was also cancelled.

Fernandez said that priority in the use of government and private land for transport infrastructure as stated in the PJ Local Plan 1 was given to mass public transport systems and public transport infrastructure.

"This is because the PJ Local Plan 1 ensures that its policies are consistent with the UN sustainable development goals and the reduction of Petaling Jaya's carbon footprint in transportation activities.

"The policies in the local plan relating to new highways will only allow consideration of intracity highways if they are run underground and serve a dual function infrastructure for flood management like the world class smart tunnel in Kuala Lumpur," said Fernandez.

He further said intracity highway do little to reduce traffic congestion.

"It merely dumps the traffic from one area to another area, thereby increasing congestion in the affected area with little benefit to local residents.

"The Petaling Jaya City council will act in accordance with the decision of the Selangor State exco to not allow such Kidex type highways as the PJ residents, the then PJ members of parliament and state assemblymen had overwhelmingly rejected this type of highway infrastructure," he said.

That decision was incorporated in the PJ Local Plan 1, and under S18 of the TCPA 1976, no development may be allowed that is inconsistent with the PJ Local Plan 1," said Fernandez.

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