End to Kg Sungai Terentang problem in sight

Selangor Times

Writer: Gan Pei Ling

Published: Sun, 11 Dec 2011RAWANG: Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) stand-off with villagers over high-tension towers here may end today (Friday) if findings by an independent consultant are accepted.

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is scheduled to meet TNB officials at the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) this morning to discuss the report by AECOM Australian Pty Ltd.

The consultant had evaluated TNB’s original route and two proposed alternative routes, and suggested a fourth route to redirect the 275kV transmission line away from the highly populated Kampung Sungai Terentang.

“The advantage of this route is that it diverts the transmission line from the highly compact residential area to a wide-open corridor (Rawang Highway), which reduces the impact on residential properties and has a limited impact on commercial businesses,” said AECOM in its report.

It wrote that it is feasible to move the Central Area Reinforcement (CAR) project to be aligned along the 40m-wide Rawang Highway corridor using existing road reserves.

“The proposed monopole structures can be installed on the slow-traffic side of the road. This will not affect major traffic along the highway, and the kerb and the trees would act as a barrier to avoid the monopoles from being damaged by traffic,” it said.

Three petrol stations and two multistorey commercial buildings along the highway would be affected, but AECOM considers the impacts “manageable”.

Villagers voting on Tuesday to get TNB to use alternative routes away from their homes.

This latest alternative route would cost an estimated RM17.5 million, less than TNB’s original route cost of RM18.6 million, and the state’s proposal of constructing an underground cable, which would cost RM225.3 million.

The consultant said the residents’ proposal to realign the transmission line along Jalan Rawang Perdana is actually the cheapest option, but it is not recommended as the road is highly congested.

“This traffic flow would increase the risk of the transmission-line structures being hit and damaged by the large number of truck movements,” said the consultant.

The CAR project has been stalled for the past three years as villagers vehemently protested against the demolition of their homes to make way for the transmission line.

Residents are also concerned that the magnetic fields from the high-voltage cables would cause health problems among pregnant women, infants and children, in addition to students at the school located only 20-25m away from the line.

They took the matter to court, but the Federal Court ruled in November 2009 that TNB could proceed with the project by compensating residents with RM10.4 million.

Subsequently, Selangor negotiated with TNB, and the electricity giant agreed to halt construction while an independent consultant was hired to conduct a feasibility study on alternative routes.

TNB’s attempt to resume construction last Thursday ended in a stand-off with villagers.

Selayang Member of Parliament William Leong and Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei urged TNB to adopt the alternative route proposed by AECOM in order to reach an amicable settlement with residents.

Three petrol stations and two multistorey commercial buildings along the highway would be affected, but AECOM considers the impacts “manageable”.

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