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SERENDAH, Sept 3 — The second phase of the Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT2) project, which resumes today at a 15 per cent lower cost of RM4.475 billion, could be completed in five years’ time instead of the targeted seven years, said Transportation Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
He said this is with the assurance by Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd (DMIA) and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), which have formed a joint venture company, Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd.
“Although the government has set a maximum of seven years for the project, Dhaya Maju LTAT is confident they can complete it in five years.
“If the country’s economy continues to strengthen, the government will consider it,” he said.
Loke added that although the project could be completed in a shorter time period, the government needs to consider any cost increase as a result.
The KVDT2 involves the rehabilitation of 265 km of KTM Bhd’s (KTMB) railway tracks, stretching from Salak South to Seremban and from Simpang Port Klang near Mid Valley to Port Klang.
In addition, Loke emphasised that the reduction from the original price tag of RM5.265 billion would not jeopardise the quality of the work and no jobs would be affected.
“(However), several job scopes that are not important have been reduced, including the upgrading of 10 stations along the route, and will be taken over by Perbadanan Aset Keretapi.
“The government also takes note that several locations along the KVDT2 route experience frequent flooding, which is a contributor to derailment.
“This upgrade is therefore aimed at enhancing the quality and safety of train services especially the KTM Komuter and Electric Train Service,” he explained.
He also acknowledged the challenges facing Dhaya Maju LTAT in resuming the project at a lower cost, but complimented the company for helping the government to cut down on its expenditure.
“All actions and decisions by the government to revive national infrastructure projects one by one are aimed at spurring the nation’s economic growth,” he said.
To a question, Loke said the track upgrading would not affect the frequency of ETS and KTM Komuter services.
About 20-30 per cent of the preparatory works for the KVDT2 are already completed, and the work would be done over 60 sequential stages to ensure minimal disruption to KTMB operations.
“This upgrade is conducted on a track that is actively used, which is one of the main obstacles faced by DMIA LTAT in upgrading it,” he said.
Dhaya Maju is also the contractor for the KVDT1 for which 80.3 per cent of the overall project has been completed as of Aug 30, with the project on track to be delivered next year.
The scope of work for the KVDT2 includes replacing 25-year-old tracks with new foundations, tracks, upgrade and maintenance of the electrification system, communication as well as upgrading of stations. — Bernama