Saturday, September 5, 2015

Brickfields’ Torana Gate ‘up by November’


WORK on the Torana Gate project in Little India, Brickfields, that was announced over five years ago has finally started.

Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Loga Bala Mohan said it would be completed before the Asean Summit in November.

He said the civil works for the 10m-high massive stone pillars was now being carried out.

“We are waiting for the cladding, which will cover the structure to arrive from India. These slabs, which are intricately carved, have to be specially made by craftsmen there,” he said, during a dialogue with Brickfields stakeholders and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) yesterday.

The Torana Gate project was launched on Oct 27, 2010 by former Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh after he jointly officiated the RM35mil Little India project with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

During the launch, Dr Manmohan offered the Torana Gate as a gift to symbolise the friendship between both countries.

Since its launch, the project had been plagued by delays because of its numerous technical and design issues.

The Torana Gate is a gateway seen in Hindu and Buddhist architecture in various parts of India.

Resembling the gateway to the Great Stupa at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh, India, the artist’s impression of the Torana Gate shows that it has four pillars.

“The Torana Gate will be jointly launched by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Najib when the former attends the Asean Summit,” Loga Bala said.

Also during the dialogue, it was revealed that DBKL was in the midst of studying several proposals to tackle the traffic dispersal system in Brickfields.

“Based on residents’ feedback today, traffic is still the main problem.

“We have received several proposals addressing the traffic congestion, including one from Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd.

“Once we have studied all the proposals, we will decide on the best course of action,” he said, adding that they would decide next month.

“We understand that what we implemented before this contributed to the congestion. But it must also be pointed out that most of these stem from people’s attitude.

“Even with designated parking areas, motorists still insist on parking illegally as close to the shops as possible, sometimes double or triple-parking,” Loga Bala said.

An estimated RM5mil will be spent to upgrade and beautify Little India including building more decorative arches, repainting building facades, upgrading of pedestrian walkways and constructing more lighting.

Also present during the session were Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun and DBKL executive director (Project Operations and Implementations) Datuk Tan Keng Chok.

*Taken from thestar.com.my

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