NOW that the proposed plan for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 3 project is open for public inspection, residents of Taman Muhibbah, Klang, have strongly objected the track cutting through their residential area.
Though residents were initially glad to hear that the LRT3 line would be extended to Klang, the feeling was shortlived when they found out that rail would run through their housing area and some houses would be acquired.
Based on the proposed alignment, 12 houses and eight shoplots will have to make way.
Tony Ding, 63, and his wife Elizabeth Ng, 49, are among those who might be affected.
Ng said she got wind of the news early June.
'I went to the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) to object to the proposed line and the officer at the counter said that if my house was to be acquired, I would be informed. But no one has said anything to me yet,' Ng said.
Another resident, Vicky Teo said there was word that four neighbouring houses would be acquired and she feared the rail would be built close to her house.
'If Prasarana is trying to minimise the impact on residents, why is the track being planned to run through our neighbourhood when it can be aligned along the main road, Jalan Meru?' she asked.
She added that Taman Muhibbah was a mature area comprising 250 houses and residents were mostly senior citizens and those reaching retirement age.
Teo urged Prasarana to find alternative routes near locations such as Klang Parade, with more riders.
Residents also questioned where construction materials would be placed if tracks were to be built in the residential area, where roads were not wide.
A five-page report containing objections was handed to Prasarana during a dialogue the company held with Taman Muhibbah residents. The report also suggested four alternative routes.
Prasarana executive vice-president (group communications and strategic marketing) Lim Jin Aun reminded residents that the displayed plan was only a draft and had not been finalised.
All suggestions, he said, were welcome.
'We launched the public inspection on May 15 and it will end on Aug 14. It is for people to share their views on the proposed alignment,' he said.
He said the study for the project was done by consultants in 2013 but along the way, more improvements were made.
Lim said there was a process to follow if any property had to be acquired.
'We are not able to say how many units will be acquired because the plan is not finalised, but we intend to minimise the social impact,' he said.
Compensation will be given based on the market value of the property and there may be other costs involved too.
MPK Town Planning Department officer Norhayati Mohd Ladzim said the council had no commitment to Prasarana and no approval had been given.
'We have asked the company to refer to the state government for approval and we only provide space for public inspection,' she said.
Selangor Investment, Industry (SME), Commerce and Transportation Committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said LRT3 would help the state government move towards creating a 60:40 ratio in usage of public transportation versus private motor vehicles.
'People always complain about our public transportation. They compare us to countries like Singapore but when there are proposed public transportation projects, people object to the alignments,' he said.
Teng said it would not make sense for Prasarana to acquire more houses than was indicated in the proposal as it was not economical.
'We will need to discuss this first before making a decision,' he said.
He said a hearing would be held before any decision was made on the project.
Work on the RM9bil LRT3 line from Bandar Utama to Klang is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year and expected to be completed by 2020.
The journey by rail from Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya to Johan Setia in Klang will take only 51 minutes.
There will be 25 stations along the 36km route.
The public can view the proposed alignment at the headquarters of Shah Alam City Council, Petaling Jaya City Council, Klang Municipal Council and the office of the Public Land Transport Commission in KL Sentral from 9am to 5pm on weekdays.
It is also displayed at the Kelana Jaya, Masjid Jamek, and Pasar Seni LRT stations on weekdays, from 10am to 7pm.
Feedback forms will be available at all seven public inspection venues. For details, visit www.lrt3.com.my