Batu Road retailers want to be consulted over closure of Jalan TAR

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): The Batu Road Retailers Association (BARRA) wants the Government to consult them over the planned closure of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (old name Batu Road) from  March 15.

Its  vice president Rohana Mohammad Nasir said the Government must take into consideration the implications on the hundreds of retailers there if the closure goes ahead.

Rohana said apart from causing the traders to suffer losses, the Government would also lose revenue as they are taxpayers.

"Bear in mind, we are the stakeholders here, are paying taxes to the Government, this is a source of income to the Government. So if we do not do business, our revenue will  be lesser, we pay less taxes. So do not just look at solving traffic problems...there are many ways of solving traffic problems," she said in an interview on Bernama News Channel (Astro 502).

Prior to this, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad was reported as saying that the closure of the stretch of the road from Jalan Esfahan near the Sogo Shopping Complex to Jalan Melayu from March 15 was only for trial purposes.

Meanwhile, commenting on the plan by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to move the Ramadan bazaar in the area, located in Jalan Masjid India, to Jalan TAR, Rohana said it would only encourage unlicensed trading and dumping of rubbish to the discomfort of city folk, as happened last year.

"Why transfer the  Bazaar Ramadan to  TAR....there are illegal “Bazaar Ramadan” stalls in Jalan TAR. I have  the pictures and I have shown them to DBKL directors, why not address this first,” she said.

Touching on the same matter, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad managing director, Datuk Dr Ameer Ali Mydin urged the Government to resolve the existing problems in Jalan TAR first before embarking on the road closure which he said would pose risks to many.

He said if the intention was to reduce traffic congestion, improvements on enforcement was the main element that should be done by the Government.

"We have to solve the current problems first, not start new ones. Many traffic problems like haphazard parking need strict and speedy action by DBKL,” he said.

Unlicensed petty traders, illegal immigrants flooding the area  were among the other matters that required urgent action, he said, adding that the genuine retailers there had been around the last 20 to 30 years and “would not hesitate to go on strike” if their interests were not protected.