The wall of Pudu Jail fronting Jalan Pudu will be demolished on Sunday night for the construction of an underpass which is part of a road-widening project to ease congestion in the area.
The project consists of a five-lane tunnel that will be in alignment with Jalan Pudu, while a slip road to access Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah is also part of the package.
The whole project, to be completed in December 2012, will be carried out in stages and will involve traffic diversions.
It would take three days to demolish about 300m of the wall.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said the Commissioner of Heritage Malaysia said there had been no objection from them after understanding why the demolition was needed.
“This Pudu Jail area was also not gazetted as heritage,” said Ahmad Fuad during a site visit.
“Of course, there is always the dilemma when it comes to a heritage structure like this,” he said.
Ahmad Fuad said the the underpass was necessary because the congestion in the area had become acute.
Also present at the Pudu Jail site visit were Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, UDA officials and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) officers.
Ahmad Fuad said he hoped, however, that the developer would retain the main gate of the prison.
“We are only using a small part of the wall for the road project and this issue must not be sensationalised,” he said.
He added that Jalan Imbi had become an important area because of another development coming up in Jalan Davis.
Ahmad Fuad said UDA had submitted a mixed development proposal before the road project was planned.
“Although the land is being given to UDA, we have not received any new plan from them,” he added.
Bore piling work will start after the wall is demolished.
A temporary wall has already been built inside the prison area to prevent encroachment and vandalism.
Ahmad Fuad said the project had been delayed for more than a year and its original completion date is March next year.
“Since it involves an underpass, a lot of digging has to be made and utilities removed, coupled with problems over land acquisition. But with the new date being set, I want the contractor and developer to fulfil their promise,” he said.