Monday, March 29, 2010

Villagers gather to protest TNB upgrade work

HUNDREDS of villagers gathered at the entrance of Kampung Sungai Terentang in Rawang to protest the move by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to resume work on the Central Area Reinforcement (CAR) project to upgrade power transmission in the Klang Valley.

Five vital entry and exit points to the village were blocked by bulldozers and vehicles to stop TNB employees from coming into the village to place high voltage cables to replace the 33kV transmission cables.

Some of the villagers had headbands, held placards and dressed with T-shirts with the statement “Danger, high voltage” to show their protest.

Well-prepared: The villagers used bulldozers to seal off several of the entry and exit points to the village.

Rawang assemblyman Gan Pai Nei joined Selayang MP William Leong and Selangor local government committee chairman Ronnie Liu at the main entrance to the village near the SRJK (C) San Yuk in a show of solidarity with the villagers.

“TNB was given the order to carry out its work today but we had to stop it from happening,” Gan said.

“The villagers here will suffer if the work is carried out.

“TNB representatives should brief the residents on the safety measures and that the transmission lines would not be a danger to the villagers,” Gan said, adding that TNB had yet to inform the villagers on the details of the project.

Earlier, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui had issued a press statement advising residents of Kampung Sungai Terentang to respect the court’s decision and allow TNB to do its work.

Gan said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had then spoken to Chin to ask for a delay for TNB to resume work near Kampung Terentang and Chin had agreed.

“All the parties involved, including the residents, will have a meeting on Friday to discuss the issue,” Gan said.

Leong added that Khalid had received assurances from TNB that its employees would not enter Kampung Sungai Terentang until after the meeting.

TNB is working on the Central Area Reinforcement (CAR) project in the area and the Federal Court handed down a judgment in its favour, deciding that TNB had the right to install the power lines.

In November last year, the Federal Court ruled that TNB could resume work while directing them to pay compensation to the residents amounting to RM10.4mil.

Once completed, the project, which involves the laying of high tension cables over a 59km stretch, would include the building of five monopole towers a kilometre away from the village.

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