SHAH ALAM, June 16:
Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said his administration had always been supportive of more highways since 2012.
This is despite Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) collective election manifesto, known asBuku Jingga(Orange Book), that stated the state government would take over the highways in stages for the purpose of abolishing tolls.
He said the state government, through meetings with the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM), had expressed its support in principle, since 2012, for all types of highway projects to overcome traffic congestion.
However, he stressed that all development planning for highways must be in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.
Additionally, in the agreement between the state government and concessionaires, several conditions have to be met, with public interest given priority.
“We have laid down several conditions, such as those for the West Coast Highway, to ensure that the agreement is fair, not lopsided or only beneficial to the concessionaires.
“If the concessionaires recoup their investment earlier, the concession agreement must provide for early termination,” he said during the question-and-answer session at the meeting of the Selangor assembly sitting here.
“This is the state government’s commitment to ensure that roads are built. Otherwise, we will not have a proper network of roads.”
The Selangor government has been facing opposition from residents of Petaling Jaya to the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), which they said had been pushed through without consulting them.
The residents complained, among others, of the lack of transparency for the project, the possibility of exorbitant toll rates and concerns that the multi-billion ringgit project will bring more noise and dust pollution, as well as obstructed views.
They are also up in arms that PR had not taken a stand on the issue.
The construction of Kidex, stretching 14km, is expected to begin next year with an estimated cost of RM2.2 billion.
Another group, which calls itself the “Say No To Dash” (SNTD) movement, is protesting against the RM4.18 billion Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway (DASH) project.
DASH, which will stretch 20.1km, will commence at the Puncak Perdana U10 Shah Alam intersection and serve as a link for Puncak Perdana, Alam Suria, Denai Alam, Kampung Melayu Subang, Jalan Sungai Buloh, RRIM, Kota Damansara, Damansara Perdana and Mutiara Damansara.