Penang expects approval for transport plan by June

Chow said he is 'optimistic' that the state will be given approval for the mega infrastructure project within the next few months. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Chow said he is 'optimistic' that the state will be given approval for the mega infrastructure project within the next few months. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 20 — Penang hopes to obtain approval for projects under its Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) within the first half of the year, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced today.

The lawmaker said he is “optimistic” that the state will be given approval for the mega infrastructure project within the next few months.

“We are on the verge of securing approval for our major transport plan,” he said during a speech at a Chinese New Year gathering with the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) this evening.

Penang, through its project delivery partner SRS Consortium, had applied to Putrajaya for approval to build a Light Rail Transit (LRT), Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1), and to reclaim the sea to create three islands off the southern coast of the Penang island.

Chow did not specify which component of the project the state is expecting a green light from the federal government.

“The approval will spur the construction sector and provide opportunities for companies in the building and construction business,” he said.

He said the other mega project Penang is undertaking, the RM6.3 billion paired roads and undersea tunnel project, will also kick off this year.

“The first paired road project by Zenith Consortium will start on a very auspicious date on August 31,” he said.

Chow was referring to Package Two of the whole project, which comprises a paired road to connect Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway to Air Itam.

Zenith will be constructing three paired roads under the RM6.3 billion project that are divided into three packages.

Package One, which has two phases, will see Tanjung Bungah connected to Batu Ferringhi in the first phase and Batu Ferringhi connected to Teluk Bahang in the second.

The third package is to connect Gurney Drive to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

The ambitious RM46 billion PTMP is a mega project that encompasses PIL1, LRT, bus rapid transit (BRT), while the reclamation of three islands off the coast named Penang South Reclamation (PSR) is to fund the massive project.

The proposed PIL1 will eventually link with the three paired roads by Zenith.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the three paired roads has already been approved while the EIA for PIL1 is pending approval.

The LRT and PSR are also pending approval by the federal government.

The state government plans to implement PIL1, PSR and LRT at the same time after obtaining approval.