Monday, 3 July 2017

(The Star) Merchants have plan for Klang‘s Little India

Klang's Little India has changed a lot over the decades but its entrepreneurs want the commercial area to be refurbished with pedestrian walkways.

Other changes suggested by the Klang’s Little India Entrepreneurs Association are to make part of Jalan Tengku Kelana, the main thoroughfare for Little India, one way and to install LED lighting to brighten up the tourism spot.

But will Little India see these changes, made through a detailed document submitted to Klang MP Charles Santiago titled Memorandum and Klang’s Little India Tourism Strategy 2018 to 2020?

Association president N.P. Raman, together with several members of the committee, submitted the nine-page document containing detailed drawings of the proposed redesign for Jalan Tengku Kelana.

“Our plans are to have smoother traffic, wider and safer walkways, LED lighting and designated parking bays, and this has been verbally communicated at municipal forums and even with politicians at the federal and state levels.

“With a strategist guiding us and professional plans for the street changes in place, we are optimistic it will materialise,” he said.

Raman added that the time was right for the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) to replan Little India to accommodate domestic and foreign tourists which are increasing each year.

In 2015, 1.9 million visitors came to Little India while in 2016, the number rose to 2.2 million.

Raman said the association would soon host a luncheon for MPK council president Datuk Mohamad Yasid Bidin and heads of department to hand over the memorandum and strategic plan for Little India.

“Our association wants to establish a working relationship with MPK, where both parties can expedite plans for the betterment of the business enclave,” he said.

He added that the memorandum came with technical drawings for municipal planners to explore the changes needed for Little India.

“We will also suggest to MPK to have an economic development unit for the planning department where ideas to encourage youths of all races can be explored.

“Our ideas have been put in the strategic plan and the committee will discuss with MPK on how to implement these for small businesses,” he said.

Travel company operator A. Anandarajan said the municipality must focus on better infrastructure that supports tourism as it would help the next generation work force.

“MPK and businessmen in the area must look at it from the perspective of Gen Y,” he said.

Anandarajan said the association’s concerted effort to come up with the strategic plan and technical drawings for a better Little India was commendable.