MRT3 cancellation may impact city development

Absence of Circle Line will impact TRX, BBCC, Merdeka PNB and KL Metropolis

By IZZAT RATNA / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) project cancellation could impact city connectivity and ease of doing business in the city.

MRT3, or also known as the MRT Circle Line, was planned to provide connectivity with other existing lines. It was planned to connect in one loop with points from Ampang Jaya, Sentul Timur, Mont Kiara, Hartamas, Bukit Kiara, Kerinchi, Taman Desa and Kuala Lumpur (KL) Air Base.

A property expert claimed that the absence of the Circle Line will impact various developments such as the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), Merdeka PNB 118 Tower and the KL Metropolis.

Consultancy firm CBREWTW Sdn Bhd MD Foo Gee Jen said without the Circle Line, the existing MRT1 and MRT2 would eventually die of a natural death if there is no effort to boost the connectivity lines, especially on the last mile.

“Extra efforts are required such as alternative connectivity routes like expansion of the feeder buses or other measures, to ensure that traffic congestion in town would be alleviated to remain competitive with other cities,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

“Without the completion of the final phase, the entire ecosystem from an economic and real estate standpoint would be disrupted,” he added.

“KL is the centre of Malaysia, therefore, the city requires good infrastructure connectivity to support the rest of the development in the central region such as the TRX, Menara PNB 118 Tower and BBCC to name a few.”

Foo expects an extreme level of stress to be exerted in the city centre’s traffic without MRT3.

“If we are still relying on moving people on the road, I don’t know if we can handle such massive movement of people, once all the surrounding developments are completed,” he said.

Additionally, the consulting firm noted that many approved developments were planned with high-density plot ratios based on MRT3.

“Hence, land pricing would also take a large hit, especially for developers that may have put their money in hopes that the Circle Line would be completed.

“If that is the case, the affected stakeholders may have to restrategise their planning, either to differ the exchanging hands of the land from the stipulated timeframe, or if needed, sell them at a significant loss,” Foo said.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the government’s decision to cancel MRT3 and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore highspeed rail project due to the country’s current financial liability and weak balance sheet.