What makes a township “liveable”? It can’t be just the buildings, people and infrastructure. The extent of nearby open and green spaces are vital now that, more than ever, the hardship of earning a living compounded by daily traffic snarls takes a toll on our mind and body.
For those living in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and countless other city folks, Bukit Kiara, Taman Lembah Kiara and Taman Rimba Kiara is a welcome haven to de-stress, relax, re-invigorate and sweat it out.
It is a “mini nature library” for families keen on instilling in their young children respect, appreciation and love for nature. For those who jog or walk at dawn, the burst of joyful singing from birds in the surrounding trees provide comfort that the new day will be a good one!
On the weekends, Bukit Kiara, Taman Lembah Kiara and Taman Rimba Kiara are a hive of activity. It gets very crowded and finding a parking bay is like striking the jackpot – all these go to show the gross lack of open spaces for the public.
DBKL has in the past put forward a programme to transform KL into a green city, implying more green open spaces. But nothing much has materialised. On the contrary, some of the existing prime green open spaces have been carved away for development. And instead of increasing the number of trees, more trees are being felled in the name of development.
A case in point is Taman Rimba Kiara which has been an open space enjoyed by many for ages. In 2014, a big chunk of it was alienated for residential development. DBKL, instead of being outraged that park land has been “hijacked” for development, is actually seriously considering the proposal to raise the density ratio from 74 persons to 979 persons per acre (0.4 ha) or a 12-fold increase!
Specifically, to allow eight blocks of high-rise condo comprising 2000+ units for approximately 8,000 to 10,000 new residents and with an estimated 8,000 vehicles that will enter and circulate around TTDI. This proposed development will be in addition to the three blocks of high-rise condos being built a stone’s throw away at KLGC.
This is a double whammy!
The Datuk Bandar of DBKL has been reported as saying that DBKL has a duty to consider (and approve) the proposal as the plot in question is private land. This begs the question: How can part of a park be alienated without DBKL’s prior knowledge and endorsement? It is common knowledge that the Wilayah Land Office always consults DBKL when considering land alienation as it involves land use. And on this matter, DBKL is guided by its Structure Plan and Draft Local Plan.
It is not too late for DBKL to prevent this proposed development which will cause irreparable damage to the TTDI neighbourhood.
At the same time, DBKL and the Wilayah Land Office must stop dragging their feet to gazette the WHOLE of Bukit Kiara (comprising Taman Rimba Kiara, Taman Lembah Kiara and the hills of Bukit Kiara) as a green lung. Cabinet promised this in 2007 – 10 long years ago! Meetings were held and oral assurances given to Friends of Bukit Kiara that Bukit Kiara would be gazetted. This has come to naught.
There are lots of opportunists waiting to grab a slice of Bukit Kiara.
It is high time the authorities listen to the grievances of the tax payers and voters in general and the TTDI residents in particular. It is also time for the public to rally together, to speak up and take action.