Stop new projects at Quartz Ridge, say residents

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KUALA LUMPUR: Residents of Taman Melawati and non-governmental organisations have urged the government to further protect the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge and its surrounding forests by rejecting a proposed Tenaga Nasional Bhd power line, and extension of the East Klang Valley Expressway.

The organisations said the 16km-long 200m-wide Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, the longest in the world, should be gazetted for environmental conservation.

They also called for all future hillside developments around the area to be reviewed, and if necessary halted, following the government’s decision to re-route the East Coast Rail Link further south, to avoid the mountain range.

A tunnel had originally been proposed under the mountains to link Gombak to Bentong.

Applauding the government’s decision on the new alignment, Taman Melawati Residents Association and the Society of Eco Greater Melawati said the natural flora and fauna, as well as landscape around Taman Melawati, should be well preserved.

TMRA chairman, Azhari Abd Taharim urged the federal and Selangor state authorities to provde a firm commitment to preserve the environment and ecosystem of Klang Gates Quartz Ridge.

“All of these (new developments) will disrupt the delicate balance of Bukit Taboh and the areas surrounding the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge,” he said in a joint statement with SeeGem here, today.

SeeGem chairman Dhileepan Nair said the original plan for the ECRL and EKVE would have been a huge disaster to the environment.

“Conversation of the water catchment and storage areas that protect the city from floods and provides water supply to Kuala Lumpur are paramount above any minuscule economic gain,” he said.

Dhileepan, who is also an environmentalist and naturalist, stated that Klang Gates Quartz Ridge has five endemic plants and animal species found nowhere else in the world.

“Protection of the Quartz Ridge should never be compromised.”

He said the authorities must work closely with the stakeholders such as the NGOs and communities in and around Taman Melawati who are working hard to protect the permanent forest river reserves and water catchment areas.