KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali wants the Selangor Executive Council (Exco) to reconsider its decision on the realignment of the East Coast Rail Link (ERCL).
In a statement, he urged the Selangor exco not to stick to the southern route via Negri Sembilan and Putrajaya, instead Gombak and Serendah.
He added this took into consideration the solution and mitigation plans, which are already in place that address concerns related to the environmental and social impact of the project.
“MRL is shocked that the exco of Selangor has brushed aside convincing details that MRL has furnished to the various state agencies or the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) on the clear advantages of the ECRL original alignment.
“The decision by the exco will only further delay the construction of ECRL’s Section C (Mentakab- Port Klang) and potentially delay the scheduled overall completion of the project by December 2026,” he said.
Zuki was responding to a March 24 statement by Selangor Executive Councillor for Infrastructure and Public Amenities Izham Hashim.
“The statement made by the executive councillor was a real letdown especially after MRL as the project owner had made countless engagements with the Selangor State Government and its agencies in the past eight months from June 2020 until February this year on the plan to revert to the original alignment for the ECRL project,” he said.
He said that MRL had in fact briefed all relevant state agencies in Selangor on the many advantages of reverting to the original alignment and product scope, while also addressing issues raised by the agencies.
He added MRL provided solutions related to environmental protection, minimising the social impact and improving rail connectivity, among others.
“For example, MRL has presented a definitive solution to the issue of safeguarding the Gombak Quartz Ridge by designing an alignment that traverses through an existing road for ECRL to cross the quartz ridge.
“Encroachment into the quartz ridge by ECRL is now a non-issue,” he said.
Zuki added that MRL was led to believe that said meetings with the various state agencies had been fruitful.
“In our opinion, we presented a better option to establish the most efficient national rail system integrating both ECRL and KTMB while minimising any environmental and social impacts towards the people.
“In fact, engagements have received constructive feedback from the Selangor State Government’s technical departments and agencies.