By S. PUSPADEVI | email@example.com
Photos by LIM CHENG KIAT
TRAFFIC congestion along Jalan Segambut in Kuala Lumpur is a nightmare for more than 50,000 residents as well as those from neighbouring areas. Jalan Segambut is used to get into the city and Petaling Jaya. Many get up as early as 6am to beat rush hour traffic just to get to work on time.
Kampung Segambut Dalam resident Ahmad Ehsan, 45, said Jalan Segambut was congested due to the development that was carried out in the area over the years.
“We are not against development but the Government should take into account demographic and geographical factors of the area before approving any project,” said Ahmad, who has been living in the area for the past 20 years.
Segambut Bahagia Umno division head Hassan Kassim said residents were also facing flash floods.
“We have been putting up with flooding woes for so long.
“Residents are living in fear every time it rains and the authorities have not done anything despite our pleas for a solution,” said Hassan.
He added that the construction of the Phase A Flyover project had worsened the situation.
A businessman, who wished to be known as Ng, said the Phase A Flyover project, which was supposed to be completed in January, was still not ready.
“We do not see the contractors working on the project as they should. Work is being carried out slowly, as if they are not concerned about the deadline set for completion,” said the 41-year-old Ng who owns an apartment in Jalan Segambut and operates a business in Petaling Jaya.
He said making his way through the congestion along Jalan Segambut was very stressful.
“It takes an hour just to cover a mere 100m,” said Ng.
StarMetro had reported in August last year that residents of Kampung Segambut Bahagia had taken Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib to task over one of the worst floods they had experienced in the last 30 years.
They refused compensation from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and demanded that the flooding problems be resolved. Residents had also voiced out their concerns over the delay of the flyover project.
Contractor Euro Saga Sdn Bhd said the underground utility cables, which obstructed waterflow, was causing floods in the area and delayed works.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Civil Engineering and Drainage Department director Tan Keng Chok said the construction of the Phase A Flyover Project was to ease traffic congestion in Jalan Segambut.
The single-lane carriageway is being made into a four-lane carriageway and will link Jalan Kuching to Segambut.
“The project involves a 1.4km stretch, starting from SRJK (C) Khai Chee, and passes through the KTM station in Segambut and the existing bridge which connects to the new flyover.
“Meanwhile, the flyover covers a 180m stretch, starting from the small Hindu temple in Jalan Segambut and crosses to Taman SPPK Segambut,” said Tan.
He added that the RM43mil project, which was awarded to Euro Saga in February 2011, was scheduled to be completed on Nov 18 this year.
On progress of work, he said the project was ahead of schedule.
“Initially, the project was scheduled to be completed by January but due to the obstruction caused by underground telecommunication and utility cables, it is extended to November.
“The cables include those of Maxis, Celcom, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Gas Malaysia and Syabas.
“With consent from those involved, we relocated the cables for work to continue.
“Because of this, DBKL incurred an additional cost of RM10.8mil, which also includes the construction of a TNB pylon, raising total costs to RM43mil,” he said, adding that the relocation of cables was completed in mid-December.
Tan said the connection of Syabas pipes to 100,000 households was pending but expected to be completed by the end of April.
He said other works included the construction of a pedestrian bridge and sidewalk at SMK Segambut, a retaining wall, upgrading drainage system and streetlighting, installing traffic lights and landscaping the area along Jalan Segambut.
Tan also said it was not true that the project was a contributing factor to the flooding.
“It was raining heavily while construction works were in progress in August, that’s all.
“Sungai Keroh and Sungai Toba, the two main rivers running through this area, could not cope with the volume of water and overflowed, causing floods.
“This will be resolved with the upgrading of the Kampung Benteng retention pond by the Drainage and Irrigation Department, and the construction of a dry pond as well as upgrading of the main drain up-stream of Taman SPPK Segambut/Jalan Dutamas Raya,” Tan said, adding that these works were currently in the design stages.
However, Tan explained that the construction of the flyover and upgrading of road would not entirely ease traffic flow, until Phase B was carried out.
“Phase B involves a 2.6km stretch, and leads to Plaza Mont Kiara.
“This can only be done when the land is acquired.
“Due to lack of funds, we are unable to proceed with this phase at the moment,” he said.
Tan concluded that traffic flow would be assessed further once Phase A was completed.