Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hartamas Heights residents: We have the right to block access road

Source: (By JASTIN AHMAD TARMIZI, 13/3/2012)
Residents of Hartamas Heights said they had the right to block an access road due to an agreement between Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the developer of Hartamas Heights in 2003. They refuted claims made by UEM Land, the developer of Publika Shopping Gallery in Solaris Dutamas, that blocking Jalan Changkat Hartamas was illegal.
However, UEM Land said Jalan Changkat Hartamas was a public road and turning right after the Publika East exit had been approved by DBKL.
A representative of the residents, Ibrahim Harun, said since the agreement was in force, public liability insurance had been taken up by the developer of Hartamas Heights and all the cost for maintaining the streetlights and trees along the road had been borne by the residents. “The agreement states that the mayor allowed the residents to manage and maintain the road leading to Hartamas Heights,” he said during a press conference held by the residents to refute the claims made by the developer. “We acknowledge that it is a public road but with this agreement, they should at least consult the body that manages the road,” he said, adding that the residents were not consulted by UEM Land or DBKL before any modification was done to the road.
UEM Land had earlier said that the residents were responsible for blocking the access road by placing concrete slabs. Patrons of Publika use the access to exit at the East Gate and turn into Jalan Changkat Hartamas. As an immediate reaction, developer UEM Land diverted traffic from the shopping centre to the Solaris Dutamas inner roads to avoid congestion and confusion. Later, UEM Land, with the help of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) removed the barricade.
The residents also rebutted the developer’s allegations that the residents insisted on making the road a private stretch.
Another resident Desmond Yong said they had proposed to the developer many times to widen the road and only allow vehicles to enter Publika but not exit. “However, the developer refused,” he said. Yong said the access was also dangerous as there was a blind spot for vehicles exiting Publika as they had to make a U-turn out to the main road. “We demand an answer as to how such a dangerous traffic system was never discussed with the residents especially when Hartamas Heights is the custodian of the road,” he added.
“The case against DBKL is still pending as the residents have succeeded in getting an appeal by the court of appeal to restore the action against City Hall which is up for hearing in May. “There is also a separate legal case against the developer to be heard in the Federal Court in April,” said Ibrahim.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who was present at the press conference, said upon receiving complaints from the residents, he had arranged a meeting between the residents and the developer. However, the meeting did not end well. “Hopefully, the court will resolve this matter,” he said.
Also present was Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

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