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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 — China Communications Construction Ltd (CCCC), the main contractor for the 688-kilometre East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), has allocated a sum of RM10 million for the implementation of the Wildlife Management Plan for wildlife conservation and mitigation works.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Wildlife Management Plan would among others monitor impact on wildlife and their habitats along key stretches of the ECRL alignment that links Port Klang in Selangor to Pangkalan Kubu, Kelantan.
He said a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between CCCC and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), which entailed environment-friendly initiatives, inked yesterday, was to ensure that construction of ECRL would proceed with adequate environmental safeguards.
Wan Junaidi also said the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry (NRE) had been working closely with the ECRL project team over the past 12 months to improve its alignment and design.
“The original design involved a substantial loss of forest reserves but modifications spearheaded by NRE, environmental experts together with Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd, reduced losses by up to 90 per cent.
“As a result of the reduction in loss of forest reserves, many important forest habitats have been saved,” he said in his speech at the signing of the MoA here.
The MoA was signed between Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim and China Communications Construction ECRL Sdn Bhd executive managing director Bai Yinzhan.
Meanwhile, Yinzhan said CCCC was committed to ensuring that ECRL left minimal impact on the natural environment.
“We are confident that with our extensive experience and advanced knowledge, we have the ability to develop our project without putting wildlife and its natural habitats at risk,” he said, adding that CCCC would build wildlife underpasses at 29 strategic locations to enable wildlife to roam freely despite the railway line passing through.
The 688-kilometre ECRL rail project will cut travel time between the east and west of the peninsula to four hours from 12 hours currently.
The track is expected to be completed by June 2022 and operational by mid-2024. — Bernama