The PJ Local Plan 2 has omitted its plans to include the construction of the Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH), pending a realignment proposal from the project concessionaire, Prolintas.
According to The Sun Daily, the move stemmed from the protestations and objections voiced by the residents of Mutiara Damansara and Damansara Perdana, who set up a grassroots campaign against the project.
Selangor state executive councillor for environment Elizabeth Wong said this prompted Mentri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali’s decision to overturn the plans.
"They (residents) met the Mentri Besar and he agreed to remove it (Dash). It's no longer in RTPJ2," Elizabeth said, and added that the resident group, Say No To DASH (SNTD), are pushing to make the removal permanent.
The concerns raised were mainly to do with the flawed and obsolete Environment and Traffic Impact Assessments (EIA and TIA). Michelle Wong, an SNTD spokesperson said that, additionally, the assessment reports themselves were not conducted independently but paid for by Prolintas.
This violates the guidelines stipulated in the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department that such a project would have to undergo an independent Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
Michelle said both studies were conducted in 2011 and approved in 2012, but since then there have been drastic changes to the area, rendering the studies, flawed as they may be, redundant.
"The EIA remains as it was in 2012, but we have had new roads, new houses, and the MRT here now. How can they say the environment is still the same after all that?" she told reporters.
Prolintas’ TIA also did not provide a compelling reason to its claim that over 50,000 cars from other roads will be using DASH upon its projected completion. The upcoming MRT line will provide further access to Mutiara Damansara and Damansara Perdana as well as the Rubber Research Institute (RRI) and Kota Damansara, leaving no real need for the highway.
"Basically this highway has no apparent benefit whatsoever. Why do you need another highway when there will be public transport in the future?" she asked.
Michelle ended by saying: “SNTD is not against development, but it should come with due process and not at the cost of posing serious health risks and other dangers to the local populace.”