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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11, 2015:

Regional Environmental Awareness of Cameron Highlands (REACH) president Ramakrishnan Ramasamy says the draft of the 2030 Cameron Highlands District Local Plan should be shared online.

Ramakrishnan took the local authorities to task as a newspaper advertisement in November had invited the public to forward suggestions and feedback online.

He said the draft of the 2030 Cameron Highlands District Local Plan had not been uploaded until today and was recently told by the local council that the documents should be online by next week.

The documents, prepared by the Urban and Rural Planning Department, provide detailed proposed development and land use according to lots available in the Cameron Highlands district.

He said it would make it easier for the public to forward suggestions and feedback online as there are many questions that needed to be looked into.

“For one, affordable housing needs to be redefined as units sold under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Project (PR1MA) costing RM200,000 and above, which is still beyond the reach of many from the lower-income group in Cameron Highlands.

“The suggested bypass roads to ease congestion in Cameron Highlands must also be looked into as there is no guarantee people won’t use the road for illegal farming.

“Not to mention that large tracts of the forest would have to be cleared to make way for these developments at a time when the environment of Cameron Highlands has been stretched to the limit,” he told The Rakyat Post.

Ramasamy added that the proposed aerial tram project under the draft Local Plan had also created uneasiness among the locals who are concerned about the environmental impact as it is likely to need much construction work with heavy machinery.

The local council will call up members of the public, who had submitted their objection and suggestions, for a meeting in March.

The Cameron Highlands District Local Plan is prepared under the provisions of Subsection 16 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172) in which it should be publicised to the general public for feedback and will be gazetted after it is approved by the State Planning Committee.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1976 governs the proper control and regulation of town and country planning in Peninsular Malaysia.

Under the law, the public are to be provided with information and education regarding town and country planning.

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