Sunday, March 6, 2011

Putrajaya Boulevard as a Highway of Malaysian Future

Eight lane roads, but where are the people?

This is Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital, designed to hold a community of 300,000 people, and located 40 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur (KL). The first place I've set foot on this new federal city a few years ago was Putrajaya Boulevard.

Putrajaya Boulevard is a 100-meter wide, 4-kilometers long boulevard flanked by government offices and the mainstage for National Day parade. Just beside it is the Putrajaya Lake where boat tours could be had. There used to be thousands of flowers adorning a specific portion of the boulevard. These days, they're nowhere in sight. In fact when my taxi driver asked me where exactly I wanted to be dropped off, I told him, "Right where there were hundreds of flowers." "A garden" he asked. I finally understood why he seemed perplexed. There were no flower gardens there anymore.

Check out here for thousands of blooms from our last visit (as well as of Seri Wawasan Bridge::

A taxi ride anywhere within the city center is a fixed 8 ringgit fare ($2.60 or PhP114.25). Attention to detail in the planning of this city is quite evident in this boulevard - from the exquisitely designed curving lamp posts to the concrete stones used in the 8-lane highway; from the cream-colored canopies to the posh-looking benches and road blocks. There are some squirting fountains, almost in the middle of the lane.

I chanced on a newly wed couple having their photographs taken just outside the Justice Ministry. It was fascinating watching the mechanics of a freshly minted matrimonial seal. And like their new lives about to commence, so is Putrajaya looking ahead to a vibrant future.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Justice Ministry (above and below)

Wisma Putra or Malaysian Foreign Ministry said to cost 170 million ringgit (PhP4.2 billion).

Garbage bins or R2D2 memorials?

Seri Wawasan Bridge

Eerie Putrajaya Sentral train station


Siddhartha Joshi said...

The structures look magnificent...but its sad to see the demise of gardens and trees! Boulevard without flora sounds so odd...

eye in the sky said...

Absolutely agree... Somehow, "flora" renders (rather ironically) a sense of "humanity" to a place.