By Lisa J. Ariffin and Leannza Chia
PETALING JAYA, Aug 10 ― A PKR lawmaker today urged Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to reroute their Central Area Reinforcement (CAR) project over health concerns and to prevent possible power disruption in Selangor and parts of the Klang Valley.
Selayang MP William Leong said this today in response to TNB vice-president (Transmission) Datuk Rozimi Remeli’s statement yesterday that areas in Selangor and the Klang Valley will face serious power supply disruption should the project be postponed further.
“The delay in completing the project is due to TNB themselves, for insisting to build the high tension transmission towers through Kampong Sungai Terentang,” he told a press conference today.
He pointed out that villagers have protested against the construction due to dense population there and health concerns.
Leong said TNB has refused to consider alternative routes despite the Selangor state government proposing three substitute lines for the project.
“This is not the question of manpower or expertise (to reroute the project). The only issue is really costs and profits,” he claimed, explaining that the current route would cost RM18.64 million, whereas the other three options proposed by the state government would cost RM11.1 million, RM17.5 million (both around the village) and RM226.25 million (underground), respectively.
Leong pointed out that the village is densely populated and the proposed line is near a primary school and women’s clinic.
“Although costs and profits are always important, the safety of the residents and protection of the environment must be taken into account. Money you can make, lives you cannot replace,” he added.
Also present was Rawang assemblyman Gan Pei Nei, who accused TNB of leveraging on possible power disruptions to coerce the Selangor government into allowing its construction in Kampong Sungai Terentang.
“TNB is using the threat of power disruption in hopes the Selangor government will give in to them,” she said.
“We have proposed alternative routes going around the village to minimise disruption. The safety and health of the villagers should not be compromised needlessly when there are alternative routes available,” she added.
The CAR project, which began in 2005, involves the installation of 60km of high-voltage cables between Bukit Tarek in Rawang and Kampung Chubadak, Sentul. The project was postponed for the past four years following objections by locals there, with a remaining distance of 1.5km in Kampung Sungai Terentang, Rawang, to be completed.
Rozimi had said TNB spent RM300 million to implement the national grid to ensure the country, especially the Klang Valley and Selangor, obtains sufficient power supply.
He said that TNB has, at the same time, continued efforts to increase the national grid nationwide.
A total of RM1 billion has been allocated this year to implement the national grid infrastructure and from that amount, 95 per cent was already used, he added.