MELAKA: The closure of a shortcut early this month connecting Jalan Akasia 4 to Jalan Pulau Nibong here has caused discontent among residents of Taman Akasia and the villagers of nearby Kampung Pulau Nibong.
About 100 villagers say they have a right to use the shortcut while the Taman Akasia Residents Association asserted that the road was closed for security reasons.
Pengkalan Batu assemblyman Norhizam Hassan Baktee said that about 600 residents of Taman Akasia wanted the shortcut closed because of the increasing number of accidents and motorcycle thefts at their area.
He said the closure was made according to the law, with approval from the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ).
“The villagers can actually use Jalan Pulau Nibong, which is parallel to Jalan Akasia 4, to get to Jalan Batu Berendam main road,” Norhizam told reporters after chairing a dialogue session between the residents and the villagers to discuss the issue on Tuesday (Oct 9).
He added that Jalan Pulau Nibong, which is a reserve road for the Drainage and Irrigation Department to carry out maintenance works on the adjacent Melaka River, had also been paved at a cost of RM120,000 for the comfort of the villagers.
Norhizam, who is also the state Agriculture, Entrepreneur Development and Agro-based Committee chairman, said that the villagers insist on using the shortcut, which is not a gazetted passage for vehicles.
He said the villagers are free to bring the matter to the court if they are unhappy with the closure.
“I believe that the unnecessary tension following the closure is created by those with political reasons,” he said.
Norhizam said although the Jalan Pulau Nibong is not gazetted for public use, the state government had decided to follow the decision made by the previous state administration and allow villagers to use it.