BY SHALINI RAVINDRAN
Disappointed: Fraddy Ong (third from right) said The Tak Nak SUKE action group is dissatisfied with the ‘second opinion’ report on the proposed realignment of the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE).
RESIDENTS in Cheras are disappointed with a recently released report by an independent consultant on the proposed realignment of the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE).
They said the consultant engaged to look into the proposal had failed to take their opinions into account.
The Tak Nak SUKE action group had proposed that the elevated highway be realigned along the East West Link Expressway.
Appointed by the Selangor government, residents claimed that the “second opinion survey report,’’ conducted following objections from Cheras residents, also did not include any environmental and social impact assessment for the project.
During a press conference, Tak Nak SUKE action group member and Bukit Manda’rina resident Fraddy Ong said the report, released to residents on May 15, was not comprehensive and that residents’ views had not been sought.
“Before engaging the independent consultant, we were informed that we would be required to spend time with the consultants to provide feedback on the project.
“We identified our representatives to the state government and they were in constant contact with the authorities for updates on the report. But, out of the blue, the ‘second opinion’ report was recently released.
“None of us were informed, involved or interviewed during the entire process. Worse still, our suggestions were wrongly quoted,” Ong said, adding that certain facts in the report did not make sense.
“For example, according to the consultants, if the residents’ proposed realignment was implemented, some 315 houses would be affected. But how can this be when there are no houses along the East-West Link Expressway,” Ong questioned.
“We therefore cannot accept the conclusions of this report,” Ong said.
Based on the current alignment, seven houses will have to be acquired to make way for the project.
One of the owners affected, Taman Bukit Cheras resident Lau Choi Fong, 61, said: “We don’t want an elevated highway in a residential area because these are our homes. Many of us have finished paying for our houses, so to start all over again in another area is unimaginable. It is an inconvenience to us,” she said.
Taman Len Seng resident Loo Leong Swee, 52, said the building of the highway would affect the greenery in the area.
He said the old trees in Jalan 1/114A would be cut to make way for the expressway.
“This will have a direct impact on the environment, with added pollution from the expressway. I have been living here for a decade and the traffic has increased with new townships but people are using only the main roads.
“The expressway has to serve a purpose and not disrupt the harmony. We do not see any sense in having it here,” he said.
SUKE is to be built by Prolintas Sdn Bhd with the purpose of reducing the congestion on the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2).
The 31.8km three-lane, dual-carriageway expressway will link major highways in the eastern Klang Valley, including Duke, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway, Besraya, KL-Seremban Highway, Cheras-Kajang Highway, Kesas and MRR2.
SUKE will start in Sri Petaling before passing through Sungai Besi, Alam Damai, Cheras-Kajang, Taman Bukit Permai, Taman Putra, Taman Permai Jaya, Taman Dagang Permai, Taman Kosas, Ampang and Taman Hillview and exit at Ulu Kelang.
There will be 14 interchanges at Sri Petaling, Sungai Besi, Alam Damai, Cheras-Kajang, Taman Bukit Teratai, Taman Putra, Taman Permai, Taman Dagang, Ampang, Taman Hillview and Ulu Kelang.
Three toll plazas will be built along the expressway at Pekan Ampang, Alam Damai and between Taman Bukit Permai 2 and Taman Bukit Segar Jaya.