Wednesday July 25, 2012
Residents initiate signature campaign for Taiping Lake Gardens
By CHERYL HEW
OVER 3,000 signatures were collected during a campaign to protest against the Taiping Municipal Council’s plan to build several kiosks at the Taiping Lake Gardens.
Campaign organising chairman Teh Kok Lim said Taiping residents were unhappy over the project funded by the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIR) due to its location at the most scenic spot of the gardens.
The project, comprising eight kiosks selling food, handicraft and souvenir, will be located near a bridge next to the Flemington Hotel carpark, which is near the garden’s priceless rain trees.
“If the project continues, the new kiosks will block the view of the lake, while potentially affecting the iconic rain trees.
“We do want the project because it will bring more tourists to the area, but the location is not suitable,” he said after participating in the signature campaign on Monday.
Teh said residents only learnt of the project after two signboards were placed at the proposed area to set up the kiosks on July 14.
“We held several protests, which led to a dialogue session with the municipal council on July 19.
“The council president said he will make a decision in a week’s time after getting a second opinion from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) on whether the project will affect the rain trees.
“If we wait until the decision is made, it may be too late, thus we held the signature campaign,” he said, adding that the campaign was ongoing and they hoped to collect 5,000 signature before handing them to the council.
Council president Shahrom Abd Malik said they will wait for FRIM’s response before making a decision.
“Once we get the second opinion, we will also consult the state government to get more views,” he said.
Shahrom added that the project under the Special Area Plan, (RKK) was actually approved and gazetted by the state government in 2010.
“The council wants to add value to the lake gardens by making it a popular tourist destination.
“After taking care of the lake gardens for decades, we will not deliberately ruin its beauty in any way,” he said.