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Saturday, November 17, 2007

11 new growth areas for Selangor

Selangor does not want to be left out in the nation's current aggressive development phase. While the federal government has initiated the creation of three major economic corridors on the north, east and south of the peninsula, Selangor state on the west will undertake on its own steam 11 hotspots for growth.

These are Lembah Bernam, Bestari Jaya, Selangor Automotive City, the Kuala Lumpur-Kepong development centre, the Selangor Vision City (Guthrie Corridor), Carey Island, Canal City, Pantai Morib, Vintage Heights, Sepang Gold Coast and Ladang Socfin.

State Town and Country Planning Department director Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan revealed these areas at a workshop organised by the Selangor State Investment Centre on infrastructure and facilities development held in Shah Alam earlier this week.

"We expect these new growth areas to reach their full potential by year 2020," he said, adding that they come within the National Physical Plan, which the Cabinet approved in April 2005.

With the hotspots, infrastructure in the state would be enhanced to accommodate a projected population of 15.36 million.

"Efficient and sustainable urban development that is resilient, dynamic and competitive will be emphasised in these areas. Quality urban services, infrastructure and utilities will also be provided within them," Jaafar said.

However, he pointed out that several issues and challenges need to be addressed by the relevant parties in order to make the new growth areas a success. Among these is the need to develop linkages with the other development corridors of the peninsula – the Iskandar Development Region, the Northern Corridor Economic Region and the East Coast Economic Region.

"Besides making sure that they are well linked, we will also look into the provision of an integrated and efficient urban transportation system and adopt a holistic approach to town planning to achieve the goals of sustainable development," he said.

To ensure the success of the hotspots, Jaafar called for "collaboration and smart partnership" between key state agencies and major industry players.

A gazetted development plan emphasising sustainable development, he said, would be drawn up.

The growth areas are envisaged to benefit all economic sectors of the state, especially property and real estate, infrastructure, agriculture, industrial and multimedia.

By New Straits Times (Zuhaila Sedek)

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