ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

How we deal with the environment around us during construction

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PLAN

The MRT system best serves its function by providing connectivity to the busiest population pockets, but these pockets are also extensively developed with narrow corridors and dense structures. An above-ground route especially in the heart of KL city for the MRT is simply unfeasible.

The most challenging task in the underground tunnelling works for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) for Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (SBK Line) is the tough geological formations found underneath Kuala Lumpur city. The underground alignment for the KVMRT SBK Line will navigate past two distinctly different geological settings, with the extreme karstic limestone accounting for almost 50% of the underground alignment. Extreme karst is a geological formation consisting of weakly soluble bedrock such as limestone eroded by mildly acidic water over millions of years, leaving behind an elaborate labyrinth of unstable caverns, cliffs and pinnacles in the depth of Kuala Lumpur city. For the the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line, similar challenges are expected.

Thus, maintaining the equilibrium of the sub-surface geological system containing underground reservoirs and water-filled cavities is a challenge as any disturbances from underground activities could cause karst sinkholes and ground subsidence. Another possible consequence is bentonite blowouts, resulting in mudflows that rise to the surface during the boring process.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN

The MRT project’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) has been given the seal of approval by the Department of Environment (DOE). The EMP was approved following the conditional endorsement given by the DOE to the EIA report.

This exemplifies MMC Gamuda’s commitment in adhering to stringent environmental regulations and mitigating environmental impacts from the country’s largest infrastructure initiative.

The EMP is a living document that needs to be continuously updated as it monitors the effectiveness of the mitigation measures undertaken and failure to comply with the measures stated in the EMP will result in various punitive measures by the DOE.

To control noise during construction, there are technologically advanced measures to control noise, such as noise dampers and noise barriers, which will be adopted according to the independent consultant’s recommendations after an in-depth study.

We agree there will be some temporary inconvenience to some people during the construction period, but all measures will be taken to minimize the inconvenience.

Traffic Impact Assessment and Traffic Management Scheme will be done before construction with the construction activity planned in such a way to ensure existing traffic flow is affected minimally and, if there is a need to divert, alternative routes will be identified for necessary areas affected by the construction activities. PDP will have close cooperation and coordination with City Hall, local councils, Police and etc to ensure minimal disruption to traffic flow.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA)

The purpose of the EIA report is as a preventive approach to avoid costly mistakes caused by environmental factors in project planning and development. In Malaysia, the EIA procedure was initiated in 1988 as a mandatory legislative requirement to protect and enhance the quality of the environment through licensing, setting of standards, coordination of research and dissemination of information to the public under Section 34A of the Environmental Quality Act (EQA), 1974. The section further requires the Project Initiator of a Prescribed Activity to submit a report of the EIA to the Director General of Environmental Quality for approval.

The EIA report must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Environment and contain an assessment of the impact of the Prescribed Activity on the environment as well as proposed mitigation measures. Activities subject to EIA are prescribed under Environmental Quality (Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order, 1987. 19 categories of projects are listed as prescribed activities of which Railways and Transportation including construction of MRT is one of them. Additionally, Section 34A, EQA 1974 empowers the Minister to prescribe any activity which may have significant environmental impacts as a Prescribed Activity.

The EIA procedures adopted in Malaysia comprises preliminary assessment, detailed assessment and review for each assessment.