SJK (C) Damansara has appealed to the Selangor government to allow them to build a carpark that will eat into the forest reserve land.
The school said the carpark will act as a meeting point for parents to fetch their children and prevent double or triple parking on the main road which leads to traffic congestion daily.
Its board of governor chairman Michael Teng said the school had applied for the land six years ago. He said the then Selangor government had granted them a temporary occupational licence (TOL) for 10 years.
Teng added that the TOL was given in 2006 and was to be renewed yearly. He said they had paid the TOL fees until 2008 when the Pakatan Rakyat government took over and froze the permits on forest reserve land.
It was also learnt that the school had wanted to make payments for 2009 and 2010 but was rejected by the state.
“We have received support letters from 31 residents associations and joint management bodies (JMB) but there were one or two residents from Laman Impian who objected to the carpark,” said Teng.
“We have 2,600 pupils in this school with two sessions and the jam is unbearable for many motorists who use the main road because the parents park their vehicles there while waiting to pick up their children.
“There is a need to build the carpark to alleviate traffic woes. We have the funds to construct the carpark and an access road leading to it but we don’t have permission and approval from the state and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).”
Former chairman of the school’s parent-teacher association, Wong Siew Sang, who mooted the idea of building the carpark said they had received approval from MBPJ to carry out land filling works last October at a deep ravine as part of its school land reclamation project and for building the access road within the school’s boundary.
However, this move came to an abrupt end because some residents had complained against the committee.
“They said we are marring the environment but we will only be chopping off about 10 trees in the school premises.
“After the project is completed, we are willing to re-do the landscaping,” said Wong.
The neighbouring Riana Green Condominium JMB committee member Kong Chock Heng said the traffic is getting from bad to worse in the area.
“The project is a good idea and while it may not be a win-win situation, we should look at the bigger picture,” said Kong, a resident of 10 years.
The immediate past president of Tropicana Residents Association Mohamed Shukri Zain said there was always a bottleneck at the school area and that the congestion was compounded by vehicles coming from areas like Sg Buloh, Kota Damansara, Ara Damansara and Subang.
“Residents have a tough time getting in and out of this area and the ideal scenario is to minimise the number of cars parked outside, which is why we are supporting the building of a carpark.
“The key issue is also about the safety of children and parents with the high volume of traffic outside,” said Mohamed Shukri.
When told the carpark will take up space in the forest reserve land, Shukri countered by asking why TOL was given to the existing nurseries there. “The nurseries are commercial entities but we are building something for the benefit of the community,” he said.
If built, the carpark can accommodate 300 cars. A public hearing will be held today at the MBPJ headquarters at 2.30pm.
On the other hand, residents from Laman Impian have opposed the proposal because they think the carpark with access road would not alleviate traffic woes and might even be a safety hazard.
“A major part of Laman Impian is resting on unprotected beams that could collapse if there is soil erosion.
“Building the carpark at the expense of residents’ safety and lives due to soil erosion and landslide is a no-no,” said a resident who wanted to be known only as Belweil.
He said there would always be unscrupulous parents parking their cars by the road by arguing that the “queue in the car park drop zone is too long”.
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