GEORGE TOWN, Jan 7 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) said today it is expecting to approve projects with a total gross development value (GDV) of about RM2.5 billion for this year.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the GDV for development projects approved on the island amounted to RM2.56 billion in 2019.
“The GDV for 2020 was RM2.57 billion and this figure is expected to remain the same for the whole of 2021,” he said in his speech at the swearing-in ceremony of councillors at City Hall here.
He said GDV refers to projects that were approved by the city council based on the planning permission approvals, building plan approvals and start work notices which reflected the real development value on the island.
Later, MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said some of the project approvals were issued last year and the projects only started in 2020 and some will only start this year.
“We are expecting only a slight decrease in applications for development project approvals this year,” he said.
Earlier, Chow also mentioned that the city council has allocated RM54.43 million to improve public amenities and infrastructure on the island.
This includes RM2.7 million for a smart city initiative, RM11.93 million for a poultry distribution centre and upgrading of markets, food courts and community centres and RM2.69 million for renovation of MBPP public housing.
He also said the Paya Terubong Paired Road project is expected to be completed by this year and that MBPP has allocated RM8.54 million to build a road from Jalan Thean Teik to Jalan Kampung Pisang and to upgrade pedestrian walkways.
“MBPP is also encouraging more people to cycle so RM1.02 million was allocated to improve the cycling infrastructure and expand on the cycling lanes on the island,” he said.
One of it was to introduce a cycling lane from Komtar to Ayer Itam.
According to Yew, the cycling lane was to enable students in the Ayer Itam area to safely cycle to work.
“We are looking into ways to create safe cycling lanes for students to cycle to school in the area as there is a concentration of schools in that area such as Chung Ling High School, SMK Georgetown and SK Batu Lanchang,” he said.
A total 24 councillors were sworn-in today with only three new faces who are nominees from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
There were a total 10 DAP councillors, eight PKR councillors, two Amanah councillors and four NGO councillors in MBPP.