Friday, May 6, 2011

Kula eyes subway system, other upgrades for Ipoh

May 06, 2011
Kulasegaran said traffic congestion has become prevalent in Ipoh. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran today urged the city council there to plan for an underground rail system and more affordable housing to address growing congestion and urbanisation issues in the Perak capital.

In a statement, he said the city, about two hours away from KL, has always been known for its light traffic, but that this was no longer the case in recent years.

“Traffic flow used to smooth even at the busiest of times. But in the last few years this has changed. Ipoh city has over 700, 000 people residing an area covering 637-sq km,” he said, stressing the need to set up an underground rail system. “Many cities of Ipoh size have trains of this nature.”

Ipoh City Council (MBI) has set out the proposed Structural Plan for comments and inputs, although the DAP vice-chairman has hinted that it was merely a publicity stunt.

He said he had presented his views on the Ipoh Structural Plan hearing today, along with other local DAP leaders.

Kulasegaran said MBI first exhibited its findings in early August last year before extending it for another month. The lawmaker said the MBI should have extended this for at least six months.

“We felt there was lack of participation from the public. The lack of interest from the public is nothing surprising.

“It took over five years for the MBI to prepare the draft structural plan. Experts and people involved in the day-to-day work at MBI were roped in to work out the draft plan. Why then a short period of only 30 days was given to the public for inputs although it was extended for another 30 days?” he questioned.

He also pointed out that there is a need to upgrade the current inner city housing, as well as the need to build more to accommodate growing demand.

“Waller Court and Sg Pari flats were built some 50 years ago. Both these flats are not well maintained and they are in dilapidated situation.

“The occupancy rate at the flats is less than 50 per cent. Although hundreds of homeless people and many of them from the lower income group have applied to rent the flats, yet many are waiting in the queue for years,” he said.

Kulasegaran also said that there is a need for the inner city to be vibrant at the night, and one of the ways to do that is by upgrading the flats.

The shortage of housing in the inner city housing will continue unless this is done,, he said.

The DAP man also said businesses in the old town area have been affected by an acute lack of parking bays.

“Over the years, little attention and effort has been put by the local authorities to set up new additional parking bays.

“Worst still in 2004, over 60 existing parking bays were removed (near the water front project) and a mamak shop was allowed to operate there. Underground parking and/ or multi storey car park should therefore be constructed,” he said.

Kulasegaran said he had asked the state financial officer when they will be told of the outcome of their suggestions, but was informed that their views were only for internal consumption and the MBI is not obliged to revert back to the DAP leaders.

“Irrespective whether views submitted are accepted or rejected, the relevant authorities must inform and justify their decisions to those who have made submissions, otherwise this whole exercise of soliciting public suggestions and inputs could well be just a publicity exercise with no consideration for public accountability,” he said.

1 comment:

  1. Long overdue subway
    should be done immediately
    too much traffic