- Published on Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:46
KUALA LUMPUR: The Department of Environment (DOE) has approved the detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) report for the proposed East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE), despite concerns that the project will result in possible degazettement of vital forest reserves and water catchment zones for the Klang Valley.
The revelation came in Works Minister Datuk Fadhillah Yusof’s June 17 parliamentary reply to Klang MP Charles Santiago, who had asked whether the federal government would consider reviewing or cancelling the highway as its construction would demolish two water catchment areas in Ampang and the Ulu Gombak forest reserves.
“The Detailed Economic Impact Assessment (DEIA) for the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) proposal which will run through a portion of the forest reserve in Gombak and the water catchment area in Ampang has been approved by the Department of Environment (DOE) on April 25, 2013.
“The report has taken into consideration the effects to the flora and fauna, erosion, air quality, noise, vibration, hydrology, geological and socioeconomic impact during the construction and highway operation period,” said the Works Minister in the parliamentary reply sighted by The Malay Mail Online.
Fadhillah added that his ministry would be working with local authorities to ensure that the project would have a “minimum impact” to the environment, especially in “sensitive areas” and would undergo a frequent consultation process with affected stakeholders.
“The onus is on the Selangor government to stop the project. Do not allow any degazettement plans,” DAP’s Santiago told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.
“In a time and age where water resources are scarce, Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim cannot afford to pussyfoot around the matter, be firm in your stand,” the federal lawmaker added, saying he was disheartened with MB Khalid’s position on tolled highway projects in Malaysia’s richest state.
Last week, Khalid confirmed that the EKVE, along with five other expressways — the Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway (Suke), Serdang Kinkara Putrajaya Expressway (Skip), Damansara Shah Alam Expressway (Dash), Pantai Barat Expressway (LLB) and the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) —have been given a conditional approvals by the Selangor government.
The state has proposed to degazette portions of the Ampang, Bukit Seputeh, Ulu Gombak and Ulu Langat forest reserves.
The EKVE forms the final section of the KL Outer Ring Road (KLORR) which currently comprises the LATAR Highway, Guthrie Corridor Expressway, ELITE Highway, South Klang Valley Expressway and SILK Expressway.
Construction is expected to begin next year.
The Works Ministry has awarded Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd (AZRB), via its wholly owned subsidiary EKVE Sdn Bhd, a RM1.55 billion concession agreement for the expressway project, according to news report by The Star back in February this year.
According to the report, AZRB said in a note to Bursa Malaysia back then that the concession period shall be for a period of 50 years, adding that the government had agreed to provide a loan amounting to RM635mil at an interest rate of 4per cent per annum.
Under the concession agreement, AZRB has the right to demand, collect and retain the toll for its own benefit from all vehicles liable to pay toll using the expressway during the operating period.
- Malay Mail