You may be wondering about the strange headline for this post. If you have been reading papers for the past few days, you would be aware of the whole Bandar Mahkota Cheras and Cheras-Kajang Expressway barricade issue.

Basically, the gist of it is that the residents of Bandar Mahkota Cheras have been using a recently constructed link road to enter the highway which allowed them to bypass the Batu 11 toll plaza. Using the link road, their journey is shorter and they would only have to pay toll at the Batu 9 toll plaza. This of course reduces revenue for the highway’s concessionaire, Grand Saga Sdn Bhd.

So Grand Saga put up a barrier, blocking the link road. The result: residents of Bandar Mahkota Cheras have to pay the additional toll at the Batu 11 toll place, but that’s not all.

According to the Malay Mail they have to travel an additional 6km because of the detour. In times where the government is bleeding from fuel subsidies, the Cheras-Kajang Expressway barricades block a link road that shortens commuting distance, so more fuel is consumed.

On a car that consumes 8 litres per 100km, an additional 6km means an extra 0.48 litres of fuel consumed per journey, or 14.4 litres of fuel a month. Multiply this by a thousand residents who drive and that’s 14400 litres of fuel. Multiply that by 12 months – 172800 litres of fuel wasted a year. Oh, and I almost forgot… multiply that by a two way journey and you get 345600 litres per year.

Assuming a subsidy of RM1 per litre, that’s RM345,600 of government cash spent per year per 1000 residents. Two factors would inflate the actual total number even more, the fact that there are so much more than 1000 residents in that area and the fact that a lot of cars consume more than 8 litres per 100km.

Another inflating factor would be the fact that a non-highway detour route would most likely have lots of slow, stop-and-go traffic, increasing fuel consumption significantly. We may be looking at an actual figure of 12 to 15 litres per 100km.

Do the math!