Saturday, April 26, 2008

Selangor has no need to pay concessionaire RM200m - The Star

April 26, 2008 By ELAN PERUMAL

THE Selangor Government will not pay any compensation to highway concessionaire Grand Saga Sdn Bhd.

State Local Government committee chairman Ronnie Liu said the state government had no contract with Grand Saga, the concessionaire for the Cheras-Kajang Highway in Cheras.

Under the circumstance, he said the state government had the right to open the access road in Bandar Mahkota Cheras so that the residents would be provided with the option of a toll-free access to the area.

“It is absurd to pay compensation totalling RM200mil to the concessionaire when there is no contract.

Liu: ‘It is absurd to pay compensation’
“The contract is between Grand Saga and the Federal Government and therefore there is no reason why we cannot provide an access road on our land,'' he told StarMetro.

He stressed that the state was determined to open the access road, adding that the Selangor government was firm in its decision on the matter.

“We are the people's government and our stand will favour the people and there is no way things will change on our side,'' he said

Besides that, Liu said the highway builder, Narajaya Sbd Bhd, had not obtained approval for the construction of the highway from the Kajang Municipal Council.

He said they had in fact failed to get the nod from the Malaysian Highway Authority before the highway was constructed.

“To make matters worse, the developer did not submit an application to the council for the construction of the highway,'' he said

He added that after detailed research, he found former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo's claim that the concessionaire must be compensated RM200mil if the access is to be opened as baseless.

Dr Khir was quoted as saying that when the road was first opened in 2005, the concessionaire had asked for RM200mil in compensation for loss of toll collection based on the formula in the concession agreement.

“That is why we decided that the toll-free access road should be closed as it would be unfair to use taxpayers money to pay such a huge sum,” he said at a press conference this week.

He said the state had asked the developer, Narajaya Sdn Bhd, to pay the sum but the company also found the figure too high.

The present state government, he said, had promised to open the access road recently but added that it should not use public funds as it was unfair to the rest of the taxpayers in the state who would not benefit from it.

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