PTMP and PSR would not be scrapped at all cost

June 17th, 2019 Leave a comment

ptmp-overall-mapMega projects planned for the state, such as the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR), may be modified, scaled down or even reviewed depending on the situation and change in circumstances.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, however, insisted that both projects would not be scrapped at all cost, despite continuous opposition from various quarters.

Speaking to the New Straits Times in an exclusive interview recently, Chow said this was probably the final opportunity for the state to lay the proposed PTMP projects.

Explaining, he said if the PTMP was implemented 20 to 30 years down the road, imagined how many houses need to be torn down to find the alignment.

“We proposed as much as how the island can support… Nothing more than that.

“Transport mobility, logistics and telecommunication infrastructures are all necessary for any state to move forward. We have travelled to many other places and things that distinguished them from us are these components.

“Having such infrastructures will enable us to face challenges in the future, and more importantly, this is the only one project that the island can afford physically,” he said.

The PTMP project, announced back in 2015, consists of a light rail transit (LRT) system, an undersea tunnel and highways, among others.

To fund the PTMP, the state plans to embark on a massive reclamation to create three man-made islands, with a total land area of 1,800ha.

Elaborating, Chow said there were a lot to be put into the PTMP, in order to finalise the agreement, especially the technical aspects and the design.

“This is why we have yet to sign the agreement. The cost and the value of the land involved are big issues to be finalised, and even then, it can still throw a spanner into the works if we cannot agree to the terms.

“We are committed to the project but also to good governance. We will still negotiate for the agreement where we want to put the dot in the ‘I’ and also the cross in the ‘T’.

“I do not see calling off the project at this juncture but can come up with compromise.

“Also, we have yet to get approval for the LRT, and once we get it, we can decide which system to use. It is still very open and we will also look at cost saving aspects,” he said.

Chow expects the approvals for components in the PTMP to be obtained within this year and works to begin within a year.

He explained that the LRT and PSR should start together or better still for the reclamation to go ahead first as it is the funding model.

Chow, however, stressed that the intention of the reclamation was not solely to fund the PTMP but the lands, to be reclaimed, are necessary for future developments, for the next 30 to 50 years.

“The reclamation will take about 15 years to complete. Along the line, if there are any changes in circumstances, such as federal funding, it can be reviewed,” he added.

Source: NST Online


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