Penang Hill cable car project set to start year-end

January 8th, 2020 Leave a comment


After the recent breakdown of the funicular train to Penang Hill, the state government resolved to implement an alternative way to ascend the hill, which is through a modern cable car that connects the summit with the Penang Botanic Gardens.

This link will be among several infrastructure projects expected to take off this year besides the Light Rail Transit and the Penang South Reclamation – both of them integral parts of the RM46bil Penang Transport Master Plan.

If things go as planned, construction work on the cable car could begin by the end of this year, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, adding that pre-feasibility studies of the project are ongoing while a full technical study will be carried out as the next step.

He emphasised that the need for an alternative to the funicular hill railway became very obvious right after the King and Queen used it on Dec 21 on their maiden official visit to Penang.

“It broke down after their visit. We were very lucky it didn’t happen when their Majesties were on the train.

“At that juncture, the need for an alternative transport is very important. Of course, there is the road to cater to four-wheel-drives, ” he noted.

Any decision regarding the development of the Penang Hill cable car project will be made once the pre-feasibility study is completed.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said currently the pre-feasibility study of the cable project is still ongoing.

“The study has to be completed first and only after that, we will have a better idea whether the project is feasible or not,” Chow told a press conference in Komtar today.

Under Budget 2020, the Federal Government announced RM100mil for the development of the Penang Hill cable car system.

In dialogue sessions with stakeholders, Chow had earlier said he expected eight to 10 pylons would be needed to support the network, which links the summit to a “station outside the gates of the Botanic Gardens, near Penang Rifle Club”.

At the hilltop, the plan is to have the station near the entrance to the Habitat, a nature park with elevated walkways through the forest canopy.

Chow believes the project will generate growth for the tourism sector and create job opportunities for the people.

On the concern that the hilltop would be overcrowded, Chow said that under the Special Area Plan for Penang Hill, it could comfortably hold about 4,500 people at any one time.

“Rightly, the funicular train itself is a mechanism to control the number of visitors at the hilltop. You can only allow 100 people up the hill every five minutes.

“If I don’t like so many people up there, I can always slow down the train and lengthen the waiting time. It is possible to control the holding capacity of the hill, ” said Chow.

The chief minister also suggested that enhancing the walk up the hill has a role to play in managing overcrowding at the funicular railway stations, especially the upper station.

“If we continue to make our walking track more attractive, I think people need not have to congregate just at the upper station alone.

“They can actually enjoy Penang Hill by talking a walk of a few kilometres up the hill while appreciating nature along the way.

“The crowd will be spread out at other attractions throughout the hill and this will lessen the impact on the upper station, ” he said.

Chow added that the hill has also evolved over the years, particularly at the lower station.

“There is a world of difference compared to 20 years ago. Now, it can hold 1,000 people compared with just about 200 many years ago.

“With the cable car as an alternative mode, we can cater to a bigger crowd, ” he said.

Source: TheStar.com.my


Categories: Property News Tags:
  1. TV
    January 9th, 2020 at 16:27 | #1

    More Plan and Plan, seems never start doing, 10 year and 10 year, slow and slow government

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