Monday, July 21, 2008

Prince: Don't penalize Ara Damansara's residents for MPPJ's mistake!

With reference to the write-up in Metro section on, ‘Tunnels get into bad light’ by Debbie Chan and Rouwen Lin on 21 July 2008, and the article on the complaint lodged by Megah Mas residential committee sometimes in May’08 to pursue the closure of the tunnel links between Ara Damansara and Megah Mas / Jalan Tropicana.

I am very disappointed with the complaints lodged by Megas Mas residential committees to close the tunnel as I perceived their action is driven mainly by their personal interest. In the interview, they claimed to be very frustrated with the rudeness of the road users, who do not want to give way when residents trying to reverse their car from their house as the main reason for them to pursue the closure of the tunnels, but, have they ever thought about the consequence of the closure which can cause major inconvenience to thousands or millions of residents in Ara Damansara?

By closing the tunnels, residents in Ara Damansara will have to use the road to Subang Airport and exit at Kelana Jaya Centre Point to cut into LDP, which means a 30 to 45 minutes driving (depending on the traffic) versus currently less than 5 minutes drive to LDP, and 10 minutes drive to One Utama Damansara. Not forgetting that Subang Airport road is highly congested especially at peak hours and the traffic worsen when it floods during raining season.

In this case, the MPPJ should be blamed for building the ‘highway’ without considering the accessibility of the resident for both Megah Mas and Ara Damansara. The highway has cut the landscape into two without an alternative route to cross over except the badly build tunnels that do not meet the general guidelines, and is not well managed; and if they close the tunnels, it means no alternative route is available to cross over to Ara Damansara or Tropicana, and all traffics will be channeled towards Kelana Jana Centre Points to cut into LDP, it may as well create another problem for residents staying around that area, then my next questions, are we going to block the access to Kelana Jaya Centre Point again if the residents lodge another complaint?

The Megah Mas residents, instead, should work with Ara Damansara Residential Committees in their negotiation with MPPJ to resolve the issues, either by opening additional tunnels or build a new one (example: just like what they did for the tunnel in front of Tropicana Golf Club). Blindly pursuing the closure of tunnels will please one party but is not a perfect solution.

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