Ahmad Samsuri optimistic no change in ECRL route in Terengganu

A general view of the construction site of the East Coast Rail Line project in Bentong July 10, 2018. — Bernama pic
A general view of the construction site of the East Coast Rail Line project in Bentong July 10, 2018. — Bernama pic

SETIU, April 13 — Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar remains optimistic that the initially planned route for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project in Terengganu will be maintained as any change would involve additional cost.

He said a new route would involve a new study, land acquisition and building of new stations that would require additional cost.

“The question of a new route for Kota Bharu, Kelantan, to Mentakab in Pahang does not arise. If the change is for Gombak, Selangor, or Raub in Pahang, it will not affect much because without Gombak or Raub, the route will be easier actually, although it involves a new study in a new area,” he added.

He told this to reporters after flagging-off participants for the  Yang Di-Pertuan Muda Terengganu Endurance Challenge Trophy at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) near Lembah Bidong here today.

“Tomorrow, Tun Daim Zainuddin will be in Terengganu. We will ask him about it,” he added.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced that the ECRL project will resume at a reduced cost following the signing of a supplementary agreement (SA) between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), 

It said the construction cost for Phases 1 and 2 of the ECRL has now been reduced to RM44 billion, a reduction of RM21.5 billion from its original cost of RM65.5 billion.

The agreement also saw slight changes to the route from Kota Baru in Kelantan to Port Klang in Selangor, with the length cut by 40km to 648km.

The realigned route will see the rail track diverted to Negri Sembilan from Mentakab in Pahang, bypassing Bentong in Pahang and Gombak in Selangor as planned earlier.

It will start in Kota Baru, then to Mentakab, Jelebu and Kuala Klawang in Negri Sembilan, continue on to Bangi, Kajang, Putrajaya and end in Port Klang.

Meanwhile, on a claim that Terengganu PAS received RM3.5 million from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Ahmad Samsuri refuted the allegation, but said the Terengganu PAS was prepared to be investigated. — Bernama