[Malaysiakini] Cheras saga continues - toll operator vows to rebuild wall
Toll operator Grand Saga has today vowed to rebuild the concrete barricade to block a toll-free access road to the Cheras-Kajang Highway in Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC).
Notice is hereby given that the company will be constructing the barricade this week,” said Grand Saga’s executive director Zainal Abidin Ali in a terse press statement.
Zainal Abidin, who is former Dang Wangi police chief, said that Grand Saga had constructed the barricade in 2005 “to prevent unlawful access” to the highway through the access road from BMC.
In April 21, the original barricade was demolished by the outraged residents with the help from BMC developer Narajaya.
However, an attempt to rebuild the three-feet high wall by Grand Saga - for the third time - on the night of May 8 was abandoned after volleys of tear gas were fired at an angry crowd.
Residents have accused the riot police of siding with Grand Saga in the dispute. Four days later, the residents failed to get the High Court to restrain the toll operator from re-erecting the barricade.
“Members of the public are advised to respect the decision of the court,” he warned.
The new Selangor government has however argued the area where the barricade was built on was part of state land and questioned Grand Saga’s right in erecting the barrier.
In an immediate response, Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said that the access road should remain open pending the resolution of another court case filed by Narajaya against Grand Saga.
"This is a problem between two companies. Let the court decide," he said.
No resolution after 7-day deadline
Since the barrier was demolished, motorists have been using the controversial access road, resulting in traffic jams in the area.
According to Zainal Abidin, the current situation endangers motorist not only from BMC but also the surrounding townships.
He argued that Grand Saga was responsible in maintaining the safety of its road users.
But residents retorted that it was the prerogative of toll operator to install traffic lights and provide proper signage to ensure the safety of road users.
The toll concessionaire barricaded the access road three years ago, a move which upset the residents who had been using the road to enter the expressway without having to pay toll at the Batu 11, Cheras.
The concrete barrier forced commuters to travel an additional six kilometres and pay Grand Saga 90 sen toll for every trip they make [see Google map below].
Two weeks ago, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had given all the parties involved in the dispute - Grand Saga, Narajaya and the Malaysian Highway Authority - seven days to reach an amicable solution.
But Zainal Abidin said that “the issue unfortunately has not been resolved” after the lapse of the seven days.
Grand Saga has not given the actual date when it plans to rebuild the barrier but there could be a repeat of the rowdy May 8 protest from the residents should it proceed.
SPECIAL REPORT: The Grand Saga in Cheras
The article above is taken from "Malaysiakini".