We are making an appeal to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to look into the plight of horticultural nursery owners and operators in Green Lane, Sungai Buloh (along Jalan Sungai Buloh-Subang) in Selangor.
We were brought in by Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor (PKPS) - Selangor Agricultural Development Corp - to the site in 2000 to develop the horticultural industry, which is centred in Sungai Buloh. The other nearby centres are in Jalan Hospital and Kampung Melayu.
Originally, there were 72 lots which were managed by PKPS. Over the years, road widening and relocation of large water pipes have reduced the numbers. Last year, another 10 operators had to make way for the Damansara-Shah Alam Highway ( DASH )opposite the Rubber Research Institute (RRI).
Last week, another large group has been issued eviction notices by the Petaling District Office to vacate for another round of road widening and relocation of pipes.
Alternative sites are difficult to find despite the efforts of the authorities, and the nursery owners and operators themselves.
However, in the course of our search for alternative sites, we found an ideal place just opposite Green Lane in the RRI vicinity. It is lot reserved for an MRT project.
This vacant lot can be used as an alternative site for our nurseries. Nursery owners and operators are willing to pay a reasonable rental for its use. The nurseries can beautify this unkempt lot.
Since the MRT is a federal government initiative, it is only appropriate that we make the appeal to the prime minister.
Many of the nursery owners and operators are senior citizens and are not in a position to look for alternative employment or other sources of income.
We hope the prime minister will look into our problem and agree to allocate the MRT site to us, at least in the short term.
We will also be happy if the federal and the Selangor governments could allocate a place to house all the nurseries in one large horticultural centre to ensure the proper growth of the horticultural industry.
The writer is one of the affected nursery owners.
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