Bloom­ing into a beau­ti­ful city

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - DAULAT TUANKU SULTAN JOHOR -

The coun­try’s first eco­nomic cor­ri­dor is di­vided into five flag­ship zones; the other four zones are Iskan­dar Pu­teri ( for­merly known as Nusa­jaya), East­ern Gate De­vel­op­ment Zone, Western Gate De­vel­op­ment Zone and Ku­laiSe­nai.

“We must en­sure that Jo­hor Baru re­mains at­trac­tive and able to at­tract crowd al­though the state ad­min­is­tra­tive seat had moved to Kota Iskan­dar in Iskan­dar Pu­teri in 2009,” adds Mo­hamed Khaled.

IRDA chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Is­mail Ibrahim says it will take about two years to re­ha­bil­i­tate and re­vi­talise Sun­gai Segget into a new land­mark in Jo­hor Baru.

He says phase one of the work in­volves the con­struc­tion of cen­tralised sew­er­age treat­ment plant to en­hance wa­ter qual­ity through re­duc­ing pol­lu­tant loads to the Straits of Te­brau.

Is­mail says this will be fol­lowed with the open­ing up of the river, which flows along Jalan Wong Ah Fook in down town Jo­hor Baru.

Sun­gai Segget was cov­ered in 2005, a short- term mea­sure to en­sure odour and pol­lu­tion of the river was con­tained above the ground. It is a river that cuts through the heart of the city that some say do not have a com­pre­hen­sive sew­er­age sys­tem.

In late 2013, the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works on the river started on a grand scale with the man­date be­ing given to IRDA and the Jo­hor Baru City Coun­cil to mon­i­tor the pro­ject. It was a pro­ject slated un­der the JB Trans­for­ma­tion blue print mapped out by IRDA and is to be com­pleted this year.

“The suc­cess of the river re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­ject will be the fo­cal point of the en­tire re­de­vel­op­ment pro­ject of the city cen­tre,” he says.

Is­mail ex­plains there is a need to trans­form Jo­hor Baru city cen­tre as most ma­jor cities all over the world have un­der­gone trans­for­ma­tion projects to of­fer bet­ter liv­ing area for lo­cals as well as at­tract­ing tourists.

He says Sin­ga­pore is a city state that has suc­cess­fully pre­served and con­served the old parts of the re­pub­lic and turned them into vi­able places to live and do busi­nesses.

Is­mail says the con­ser­va­tion works by the pri­vate sec­tor in­volv­ing his­tor­i­cal and her­itage build­ings un­der the watch­ful eyes of the Ur­ban Re­newal Au­thor­ity has re­ju­ve­nated the old parts of Sin­ga­pore.

“Look at Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, where the pre- war shop houses fronting the Sin­ga­pore River have been turned into spe­cialty retail stores, food and bev­er­ages out­lets and mod­ern of­fices blend­ing well with sky­scrapers be­hind them,” he says.

Is­mail says the same can be done to bring back peo­ple to Jo­hor Baru city cen­tre not only dur­ing the day but also at night and th­ese can be achieved by com­bin­ing the old and new el­e­ments in the trans­for­ma­tion pro­ject.

An­other ma­jor de­vel­op­ment that is set to trans­form the city is the de­vel­op­ment the Ibrahim In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness District ( IIBD). It is de­signed to en­hance the im­age and po­si­tion of Jo­hor Baru and Iskan­dar Malaysia as the most suc­cess­ful me­trop­o­lis and de­vel­op­ment re­gions in the world.

The IIBD that car­ries an es­ti­mated gross de­vel­op­ment value of be­tween RM20­bil and RM25­bil is set to help the state cap­i­tal achieve a world city and me­trop­o­lis sta­tus by 2020. Span­ning over 101.17ha, the main com­po­nent of the pro­ject is the 2.56ha Corona­tion Square, which will in­clude a med­i­cal suite, three blocks of ser­viced apart­ments, an of­fice tower and a ho­tel build­ing.

The IIBD is the brain­child of Jo­hor Ruler Sul­tan Ibrahim Ibni Al­marhum Sul­tan Iskan­dar and the multi- bil­lion- ring­git pro­ject will turn Jo­hor Baru into a “se­cond Kuala Lumpur”.

It is a new brand for Jo­hor, sim­i­lar to other well- known busi­ness dis­tricts such as Aus­tralia’s Syd­ney CBD, Canada’s Down­town Toronto, China’s Bei­jing Busi­ness Cen­tral District as well as Seoul Spe­cial City. Cus­toms Com­plex and sites within the Jo­hor Zoo, the Ayer Molek prison and Hos­pi­tal Sul­tanah Ami­nah.

In the old days, Sun­gai Segget was the artery through which many ac­tiv­i­ties took place. It ranged from trad­ing to fish­ing.

Now the au­thor­i­ties are hop­ing that the re­ha­bil­i­tated river be­comes a tourist at­trac­tion where flat bot­tom boats could ply the river like gon­do­las in Euro­pean cities.

The cur­rent state of the sun­gai segget at the Jo­hor Baru City Cen­tre.

The sun­gai segget re­ju­ve­na­tion Pro­ject is on track for com­ple­tion un­der the Jo­hor Baru Trans­for­ma­tion plan.

sun­gai segget over­flow­ing fol­low­ing a down­pour along Jalan Wong Ah Fook in Jo­hor Baru on nov 24, 2015.

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