Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Saga continues - The Sun

PETALING JAYA (May 26, 2008):

Hope that an end was in sight on the issue of non-toll access to the Cheras-Kajang Highway by Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents, which has resulted in mass protests, were dashed today when the highway concessionnaire said it will re-construct the barricade across the access road this week.

This move shows that Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's effort to get all parties to resolve the long-standing problem within seven days has failed.

Grand Saga Sdn Bhd business development and corporate affairs executive director Zainal Abidin Ali said in a statement this evening: "On May 13, the Mentri Basar of Selangor had given Grand Saga, (developer of Bandar Mahkota Cheras) Narajaya Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Highway Authority seven days to reach an amicable solution. The issue unfortunately has not been resolved after the lapse of the seven days."

He added: "Notice is hereby given that the Company will be constructing the barricade this week."

The company had built a barricade across the access road in May 2005 to prevent unlawful access to the highway via the access road from Bandar Mahkota Cheras.

The barricade became the subject matter of a suit in the High Court, because Narajaya feels it has the right to construct the access road to allow residents to by-pass toll payment.

The barricade was demolished by a group of residents on April 21, 2008.

Since then a series of events have occurred which led to further proceedings being instituted in the High Court by a resident of Bandar Mahkota, including an application to restrain the Company from re-erecting a barricade. This was rejected by the High Court.

On May 13, following representations by the residents, Abdul Khalid gave Grand Saga, Narajaya and the Highway Authority seven days to reach an amicable solution which lapsed last week without any resolutions.

Zainal Abidin said the barricade is necessary to protect its interest as well as to ensure the safety of highway users at the Bandar Hussein Onn Interchange.

"As such, GrandSaga will construct a barricade on the right of way at the indisputable portion of the concession area.

He said the public should respect the decision of the court and should not be misled by certain parties over the issue of right of access or in the construction of the barricade.

Last evening, when approached at the state assembly in Shah Alam, Abdul Khalid reiterated that this is a problem between two business entities.

He said the state government wants the road to be opened for the convenience of the people but did not give any indication how this will be done.

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