Prasarana deals with neighbours affected by KL Monorail extension project

TRANSIT took note of the following interesting article, which describes Prasarana refusing to pay compensation to the residents of the Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields, while agreeing to pay compensation to two other site owners in the area.

The compensation requests are in relation to the KL Monorail expansion project, which will extend the KL Monorail from the Tun Sambanthan station down to MidValley and to Old Klang Road on the other side of the Federal Highway.

Interestingly enough, all three compensation requests are in relation to properties that are illegally occupying government land – a situation that seems to occur more frequently than one might expect.

Prasarana rejects appeal for funds (Star-Metro Central)

Monday February 27, 2012
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ
metro@thestar.com.my

SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) has rejected an appeal for compensation from residents of Tong Weng Mansion in Brickfields.

The residents had appealed for compensation after a badminton court was fenced off for a monorail extension project.

The residents also used the badminton court, which was on government land, as an area for activities such as gatherings and funeral services.

Residents’ association chairman G.S. Maniam said Prasarana had only paid compensation to two temples that had also illegally occupied government land.

“We know it is not our land but we would like some compensation as the money could be used to build a wall between the project site and the mansion,’’ said Maniam.

So close: The project site, behind the blue hoarding, is located directly behind the apartment building. Image courtesy of The Star.

Committee member K. Tanga–perumal said the compensation would be used to spruce up the apartment building, and this would complement the monorail, which was directly behind the building.

The residents have been using the plot of land for the last 37 years.

Tangaperumal, who owns two units in the building, fears that his tenants would move out because of the proximity of the monorail.

KL Monorail, a subsidiary of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, had already started work on the project.

In December last year, Prasarana spokesman Chelam Vasudevan said Tong Weng residents had been illegally occupying the plot of land.

He [TRANSIT: Chelam is a lady] said records showed that the land in dispute did not belong to Tong Weng Mansion.

When contacted, Prasarana media affairs manager Azhar Ghazali said that there was no need for Prasarana to acquire any land as it was using land that already belonged to it.

“The construction work is being carried out within the boundaries of Prasarana’s land. It was the badminton court that had encroached into Prasarana’s land,’’ Azhar said.

Regarding concerns on noise levels, Azhar said the monorail system would generate minimal noise since it used rubber tyres.

He added that the noise level complied with the strict requirements in the contract’s specifications.

Azhar said after all the factors were taken into consideration, Prasarana was unable to extend any form of goodwill payment to the residents.

TRANSIT Says:

We at TRANSIT look at situations like this and wonder how public participation in public transport and infrastructure development can be improved.

This situation is an example of how Prasarana, loval government and other public transport development agencies can certainly improve on their communication with stakeholders.

This particular case, where the residents have allegedly encroached illegally on Prasarana-owned land, makes us wonder why the land in question was not being monitored by KL Monorail Sdn Bhd in the time between the introduction of the KL Monorail in 2003 and its takeover by Prasarana in late 2007, and by Prasarana between 2008 and today (more than 6 years later).

To TRANSIT this reflects the importance of having long term public transport development plans, and (more importantly) a quasi-govermment Local/Regional Public Transport Organizing Authority for the Klang Valley…something which is critically missing from our public transport policy conversations.

There are far worse examples of poor transportation and development planning in the Klang Valley…the flats within shouting distance of the KL Sentral monorail station, the houses built along the Maju Expressway corridor before the expressway was built, and the condominium projects on either side of the rpute for the Kelana Jaya LRT extension in SS16 Subang Jaya are sad examples…but the problem that we see here is that these issues are not being identified and mitigated before the situation is out of control.

So TRANSIT reiterates to the Malaysian Government, SPAD, Prasarana, the Federal Territories Ministry and local governments…without a local/regional public transport organizing authority to plan, organize and manage public transport development planning, infrastructure and services, we will continue to be condemned to ad hoc planning and solutions.

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