Cheras residents and owners of commercial units heaved a sigh of relief when they were told that their property would not be acquired for the MRT project.
About 30 people attended a briefing session called for by Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai with representatives from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) and MMC-Gamuda JV at the SPNB office at Menara UOA in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday.
Over the past few weeks, residents and business operators in the area were concerned because some of them had received letters informing them that their property may be acquired to make way for the Sungai Buloh - Kajang MRT line.
The six proposed stations located within the Cheras constituency are Cochrane, Maluri, Taman Bukit Ria; Taman Bukit Mewah, Leisure Mall and Phoenix Plaza.
SPNB projects general manager Amiruddin Maaris and MMC-Gamuda project delivery partner general manager Loh Ai Lee were present at the session to answer issues and questions raised by Tan.
Amiruddin explained that some of the factors taken into consideration when deciding on the location of the stations were social impact, journey time, constructability and ground conditions, ridership and station accessibility, land acquisition cost, and integration with current and future development.
“The journey time from the station to the city centre should be below 45 minutes. If not, it would no longer be an attractive alternative for commuters,” he said.
He said a total of 4,500 parking bays would be put in place for park and ride facilities.
At the Cochrane station, the row of shophouses along Jalan Peel would not be acquired and only part of a petrol station would be affected by the line.
The shophouses include the Restoran Queen’s, which has been a popular restaurant for the locals in the area for decades.
However, 13 houses along Jalan Cheras would have to be acquired for the Maluri station, including the Chee Yuan Tong Chinese temple.
Loh said the houses had to be acquired because the entrance to the station would be built facing the back of the houses along Jalan Galian, which would not be affected.
“We are trying to move as close to the Maluri RapidKL station as possible. There will be a multi-storey carpark at the green lung across Jalan Cheras,” she said.
Should the temple be acquired, Tan requested for SPNB to discuss with the Government and propose an alternative site to relocate the temple.
He also raised the issue of possible negative impact on the SJKC Naam Kheung, which had 2,500 student, during the construction of the underground line near the school and he suggested realigning the route.
Amir said the line only ran under the fringe of the school and as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment, all issues had been identified and they had to meet the requirements to get the development order from the local authority.
He said the alignment had not been finalised and they were still able to take into consideration the views of residents and the school board.
Tan also questioned why the MRT line had to take an awkward turn past the school and the Sri Sabah flats instead of going straight on Jalan Cheras.
An engineer from MMC-Gamuda explained that sufficient distance was needed for the line as it transitions from underground to being elevated and that particular area of Jalan Cheras could not accommodate it.
Owners of the row of shoplots along Jalan 2/90 in Taman Pertama were relieved when told their units would not be acquired for the Taman Bukit Ria station.
Loh said the line would be in the middle of Jalan Cheras and pedestrian bridges would be built for access from the shops and from the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome across the road.
“Commuters would also be able to park their cars at the velodrome carpark,” said Loh.
However, Tan said there were popular food stalls located at the site of the velodrome and cars would fill up the velodrome carpark on most days. He suggested that the velodrome, which had not been fully utilised since the 1998 Commonwealth Games, to be turned into a carpark.
He said the residents were worried that the alignment for the Taman Bukit Mewah Station, was too close to some houses and there was a lack of parking facilities in the commercial area, which had at least four banks.
Loh said the station had already been moved from the original location near the MRR2 to the commercial area and would benefit business operators in Taman Midah.
Tan said there was an abandoned condominium project just next to the commercial area and suggested that SPNB look into buying over the land and turning it into a multi-storey carpark.
For the Phoenix Plaza Station, a representative of the property owner suggested that SPNB used the forest reserve for a multi-storey carpark instead of acquiring the commercial land just next to Phoenix Plaza.
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