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As we had reported earlier, the controversial East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) highway project had been given the go ahead, after being approved by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) back in August 12.

Now, according to the Malaysian Insider, groundworks for the EKVE at Jalan Ukay Perdana (UKP) in Ampang, Selangor, will commence today (September 1).

“The project will start with the widening of Jalan Ukay Perdana from two lanes to three lanes on the dual carriageway. During the project the concessionaire must ensure that there is no disruption to the traffic flow in the area,” said MPAJ president Abd Hamid Hussain.

Hamid told the publication that the road-widening project will be completed in 2017 while the entire EKVE will be completed in 2019. “The developer has submitted a new traffic impact assessment (TIA) report and the forest reserve has already been de-gazetted for the expressway. Work at the forest will commence once Jalan Ukay Perdana has been widened,” he said.

According to the publication, a representative from the Bukit Antarabangsa Resident Task Force, Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan is currently exploring its legal options.

Rafick believes that the Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali should not have approved this project from the start. “The decision should have been made on the basis of facts and not opinions of the privileged few that have an interest in the construction of the highway. MPAJ did not do an independent impact study of the highway on the local residences,” he said.

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He went on to say “the highway design that was approved by MPAJ was based on this erroneous traffic impact assessment (TIA). We have shared Miros’s findings with the Malaysian Highway Authority, MPAJ and Azmin and yet they chose not to take note the serious implication for their actions.”

“It appeared that they preferred to listen to the corporation. Let the record showed that Azmin, who is Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman, has not given us an opportunity to be heard directly, despite many monthly requests since November 2014,” he added.

He said that the Miros review stated that should Jalan UKP be integrated into the highway, there was an increased risk of accident and congestions on Jalan UKP and MRR2, not to mention the loss of LRT land reserve.

Rafick is suggesting, based on the task force’s analysis, that the EKVE alignment that begins at Bandar Sungai Long (leading to the SILK highway), should ultimately exit at Bukit Belacan (Ampang Interchange) to ensure direct connectivity to the SUKE.

“The SUKE then should be extended on an elevated platform on MRR2 all the way to Latar via UIA; this proposal will avoid the Ampang forest reserve as well as preserve the LRT lines and reduce congestion on MRR2. Jalan UKP, being a local road, deserves to be upgrade by the state or MPAJ as it is local authority road,” he said.