Monday, August 22, 2011

MRT to acquire part of KL’s Bukit Bintang

MRT to grab part of KL’s Bukit Bintang shopping district (Malaysian Insider)

By Boo Su-Lyn

August 22, 2011

A general view of the proposed site for the Bukit Bintang MRT station

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Twenty lots in the capital city’s main shopping district, Bukit Bintang, will be acquired for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to make way for tunnelling works and an underground station, operator Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana) said today.

Prasarana project development director Zulkifli Mohd Yusoff said the lots along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Imbi, Jalan Jati, Jalan Inai, Jalan Kamuning, Jalan Kampung and Jalan Utara would be acquired under the Land Acquisition Act 1960.

They include two fast-food restaurants — McDonalds and KFC — a Porsche car showroom, a batik gallery, a private club, offices and residential properties, landowners told The Malaysian Insider today.

Jason Ng, who said nine of his lots would be acquired, asked why landowners were not allowed to keep their properties above the underground tunnel running from the Bukit Bintang Central to the Pasar Rakyat stations.

The business legal advisor pointed out that the National Land Code 1965, which was amended in 1990, allowed the acquisition of underground land without affecting surface property.

“You’re robbing people and paying Prasarana or SPAD (Land Public Transport Commission). You’re going to acquire my land to build activities later on,” said Ng at the briefing.

Zulkifli, however, denied that the government would develop the prime land in the Golden Triangle, saying: “We can’t do anything because of the safety of the tunnel.”

Batik gallery owner Colin Yong told reporters that the landowners received notices under Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act early this month.

“My family owned (this business) for 30 over years,” he said.

But Zulkifli stressed that the government was trying to minimise land acquisition by stacking the platforms of the underground Bukit Bintang Central station.

Prasarana also announced recently that land in Jalan Sultan would be acquired despite opposition from the Chinatown community who called it a heritage area.

According to Prasarana, construction on the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line would begin in November this year.

The multi-billion ringgit project is expected to be completed in 2016 and will begin operations in January 2017.

The SBK line will cover a distance of 51km, of which 9.5km will be underground. Seven of the 31 stations from Semantan to Maluri will also be underground.

More to come

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