BY Roznah Abdul Jabbar
Reports of land development in Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, Kuala Lumpur have been denied from time to time by the local authorities and the government, but the fact that the nature park has shrunk from its original 43.2 acres to the current 23 acres suggests otherwise.
According to the executive director (planning) of KL City Hall (DBKL), Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd, the forest, now called the KL Forest Eco Park, has not been “touched” as it falls under the purview of the Forestry Department and development in that area is not allowed.
Najib said that there are no development planned in that area and never will be.
However, it is noted that the tropical forest in the city centre is a dying forest which has been subjected to random logging and infringed with developments surrounding the area.
Recently, a 7.4-acre land located adjacent to KL Tower was put up for sale, comprising 16 contiguous lots estimated to be within the price range of RM2,000psf and RM3,000psf.
The freehold commercial land, on sale by tender, is situated between Jalan Menara and Jalan Raja Chulan and it borders the forest reserve. The parcel is said to have a plot ratio of 1:7, which allows the land to be developed up to seven times its land area.
Another parcel of land slated for development is the 1.69-acre land along Jalan Raja Chulan, a joint-venture (JV) with Telekom Malaysia to be developed into a high-rise mixed development over a span of six years.
Deputy Minister of Ministry of Federal Territories, Datuk Loga Bala Mohan said some of these developments are necessary and there are specific needs of development in the areas.
Commenting on the development next to Rimba Kiara Park, Loga said that development around these parks is to accommodate the needs for “other things” in the city areas.
He said that the needs include affordable housing and squatter resettlement, among others. He added that the government does not favour land acquisition in these areas, but when necessary, it will happen.
The said project will comprise eight blocks of serviced apartments, between 42 and 54 storeys high, including an eight-storey car-parking podium.