Penang CM hopeful of federal approval for land reclamation, LRT projects this year

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow hoped approvals for both projects will finally be given by this year so that the projects can start work. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow hoped approvals for both projects will finally be given by this year so that the projects can start work. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, June 17 — Chow Kon Yeow is upbeat that his Penang government will be able to secure the federal government’s go-ahead this year for its controversial land reclamation project to build three artificial islands as well as the Light Rail Transit (LRT) to boost public transportation within the state.

The chief minister said the public display of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the proposed Penang South Reclamation (PSR) ended last month and the date for feedback ended on June 12.

“After compiling all the feedback and responses, we should be submitting the final EIA to the Department of Environment by this week,” he told a press conference at Komtar today.

He said the state government needs to get approval for PSR first before obtaining approval for its LRT to link Bayan Lepas to George Town.

“The APAD has laid important conditions for us to fulfil before they approve the LRT and one of it is that we need to secure approval for the PSR first,” he said, referring to the Land Public Transport Agency.

He said this is because the LRT depot will be located on Island A of PSR so they will need the island in order for LRT to be implemented.

He hoped approvals for both projects will finally be given by this year so that the projects can start work.

As for bridging loans to start PSR, Chow said the state will look into applying for it once it obtained approval for the project.

The LRT, estimated to cost RM8.4 billion, will stretch 29.5km from Bayan Lepas to George Town with its depot located on island A.

The rail line will have 27 stations as it travels from Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas to Komtar in George Town.

The PSR is the state’s ambitious land reclamation project to create three man-made islands off the southern coast of Penang island.

It will create 4,500 acres of lands in which island A will be an industrial park with island B allocated for high-end support services to complement the industrial park.

Both LRT and PSR are part of the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

Earlier, Chow welcomed Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s comment that Putrajaya may consider funding part of the PTMP.

He said it was only natural for the federal government to fund the LRT which is a public transport project.