UPSET:They claim that the proposed hotel in Jalan Ang Seng, Brickfields, may cause further congestion in the area
RESIDENTS of Jalan Ang Seng in Brickfields here, are concerned over plans to build a 33-storey hotel on a vacant plot of land in the area.
They are concerned that the hotel will add to the congestion in their neighbourhood.
"All we need is a tour bus coming through Jalan Tun Sambanthan 1, driving up to Jalan Ang Seng during rush hour," said Ang Seng flat's protem committee member R. Mahendra Raj.
The 61-year-old retiree also claimed that the plot of land, which is less than the size of a football field, was meant for residential and not commercial use.
"We cannot stop development on private land, but this is a residential area and by right there should be nothing but houses and apartments," he said, adding that he learnt that an application had been submitted to the authorities to convert the land status to commercial.
"We don't want the area to become a commercial centre like Jalan Tun Sambanthan. Legal and illegal food outlets as well as shops are already creeping into the area," he said, claiming that only Jalan Thamby Abdullah 1 and a stretch of shop lots on Jalan Thamby Abdullah are on commercial land.
Residents became aware of the proposed hotel when a board was put up at the site end of May asking them to submit any objections to City Hall by the end of last month.
The board has since been removed and only a metal frame is left at the site. At press time, City Hall has yet to get back to us on the identity of the developer.
A City Hall spokesman, however, said that the developer has been ordered to reduce the number of floors of the hotel project and to resubmit its plans. He said a public hearing would be held if there are objections to the new proposal.
Residents, however, are adamant that there should not be a hotel in the area.
A resident, V. Selvaindiran, said City Hall should not have accepted a proposal to build a hotel in the area.
"I hope City Hall doesn't approve the project. Even with reduced floors, a hotel is still a hotel. The skyscraper will overshadow our flats and ruin the landscape of our neighbourhood," he said.
Selvaindiran said [ the Express Railway Link (ERL) project that was built more than 10 years ago had eaten into Jalan Ang Seng, shrinking the neighbourhood and cutting off Jalan Ang Seng from a few surrounding roads.
"It will also destroy what little peace the community has," said the retired postman.
He also expressed concern over piling works which may cause damage to the structure of the Ang Seng and Thamby Abdullah flats, that were built several decades ago.
"The area is already very busy with people using the road to get to the Federal Highway and Jalan Tun Sambanthan during peak hours.
"People also park illegally, adding to the congestion," said Selvaindiran, who has lived in the neighbourhood for more than 40 years.
Sports dealer I. Vikneswaran, who has a shop in Jalan Thamby Abdullah, is afraid for the future of his business.
"I opened a shop here because it was one of the few commercial outlets in a residential area.
"But the jam has become really bad over the years and with a hotel, it may not be practical to run a shop here anymore," he said, adding that the government must properly plan the development of prime land.