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Steering the course for Penang – Penang Transport Master Plan

June 29th, 2018 Leave a comment
Image by EdgeProp.my

Image by EdgeProp

Newly appointed Penang Chief Minister (CM) Chow Kon Yeow is not an unfamiliar face in the state. When Lim Guan Eng who is now the country’s Finance Minister, was the CM, Chow had held the Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation portfolio for two terms. He is now chairman of the State Land Matters and Land Development, Information and Transportation Committee.

In the weeks after being sworn in, Chow had immediately stated his stance on housing and infrastructure developments in Penang. He is clearly committed to continue where his predecessor left of. He wants to enable the people of Penang, especially those in the low income group, to have a roof over their heads. He also believes that all developments have to take into consideration the long-term environmental impact.

In a recent interview with EdgeProp.my, the soft spoken Chow sheds more light on housing and property development issues, his thoughts on the future of Penang and the status of the state’s ambitious Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

On the Penang Transport Master Plan 

The PTMP is one of the most ambitious projects to be undertaken by Penang. It is estimated to cost RM46 billion. First proposed in 2016, PTMP is a medium to long-term plan to be implemented in phases.

Zenith Consortium, a special purpose vehicle appointed to undertake the Penang Undersea Tunnel component and given the concession to build three major roads — a 4.08km paired road from Gurney Drive to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass, the 10.53km north coastal paired roads from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang and the 5.7km paired road from Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass — has been tasked to first focus on the implementation of the latter.

“That is basically the old Penang Outer Ring Road alignment mooted in the mid-1990s. The urgency is there because of the growing catchment in the Air Itam and Thien Teik area. We will be focusing on the implementation of this package first. They [Zenith] would have to complete all their studies by October followed by the signing of the construction agreement as provided for in the preliminary agreement,” says Chow, adding that the state government will be looking at the construction agreement for each package and not one single agreement for all four components.

“They (Zenith) would be able to start off [the PTMP] maybe next year. Whether it is 1Q or 2Q would depend on the progress of the work that is done over the next few months. By October, they would have to complete all their studies. We think that by 2H2018, we can finalise the design and work on the agreement.

“There is also a deadline which they do not want to miss which is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval. It is only valid for two years — that is until October or November next year. They have to start by that date or else it would render the EIA invalid and they would have to submit a new application.”

Meanwhile, SRS Consortium headed by Gamuda Bhd, has also submitted the necessary studies for the three components under them — the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, the Pan Island Link and new reclamation sites.

“We are awaiting approval from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) for the LRT scheme we have submitted more than two years ago, so that is still outstanding. That is preventing us and the consortium from proceeding to other more detailed design works. Without this approval, we can’t progress to the next phase — that will incur cost.”

EIA studies have also been submitted on the Pan Island Link and land reclamation works.

“Our EIA consultants believe that there are no other projects in the country that require so much study or to have so many studies to be submitted to various agencies for evaluation.

“And although this reclamation proposal was presented to the National Economic Council two years ago and approved in principle, nothing much has taken place at the federal level. We understand that they require all these studies to allow them to come to a conclusion and decision,” says Chow.

Nevertheless, hopes are that by 2H18, the necessary proposals can be tabled to the relevant councils including the National Physical Planning Council for approval and that the relevant ministries would have resolved the outstanding issues.

If the approval is secured, SRS Consortium can look to kick-start the three components under them by 2H19, Chow adds.

Source: EdgeProp.my

 

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  1. Sas
    June 29th, 2018 at 14:42 | #1

    The so-called developments in Penang are still considered very slow. Send a research team to any big city in China to learn more lah.
    真个愚公移山呐 !

  2. John Yutile
    June 29th, 2018 at 15:40 | #2

    @Sas
    No lah, Penang gov is practical without moneys to carry on right now, that’s why delay after delay from years ago ! Maybe, two or three years down the road can only move with the trend.

  3. musangking
    June 29th, 2018 at 15:57 | #3

    @Sas

    You also said it lor, in China it’s BIG CITY, penang is only a small town with less than 5% the population of any big city in china. Only a pea-brain thupek like you would send a “research team” there! Hahahaha!!!!

  4. One plan
    July 1st, 2018 at 09:29 | #4

    Shouldn’t it be one LRT running across the island? Why so fancy with cable car ship etc.

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