Penang chief minister says no plan to call off undersea tunnel project

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow says the state government has no plans to call off the controversial undersea tunnel project. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow says the state government has no plans to call off the controversial undersea tunnel project. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Dec 21 — The Penang state government has no plans to call off the controversial undersea tunnel project, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

The Penang lawmaker said the state has not made a decision to cancel the project as of now.

“Whether it is built or not, we need to reserve land on the reclamation land for the tunnel and connecting roads,” he said in a press conference on Gurney Wharf in Komtar today.

Chow said there will be reserve land set aside from the reclaimed land off Gurney Drive that has been surrendered to the state by Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd (TPD).

He said it is necessary to set aside the reserve land first so that the state can build roads to connect to the undersea tunnel if it is built.

“The Pan Island Link by SRS Consortium will also connect to the left side of the road reserve on this reclaimed land,” he said.

TPD has completed reclamation work for the 131.09 acres of Gurney Drive foreshore and government reserve land in September 2019 and had progressively handed over the reclaimed land to the state.

Chow said TPD has handed over 90.07 acres to the state government and will continue to progressively handover the remaining amount of land in stages.

He said this is because the reclaimed land needed time to settle therefore it has to be handed over progressively.

The undersea tunnel is part of an overall RM6.341 billion project that included three paired roads.

The project is undertaken by Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) and the CZC submitted a draft feasibility report on the tunnel in September 2019.

It was earlier reported that the CZC is expected to finalise the feasibility report in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The undersea tunnel project was also at the centre of graft allegations against former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

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