GEORGE TOWN, May 30 —The Penang state government is applying for a one-year extension for the validity of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for its Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) highway project.

Penang state exco Zairil Khir Johari said the EIA, which was approved by the Department of Environment (DoE) in 2019, expires on April 10 this year.

"So, we are requesting for an extension for a year,” he explained when asked about his written reply regarding PIL1 at the state legislative assembly today.

In his written reply to Ong Khan Lee (PKR-Kebun Bunga) regarding the status of PIL1, the transport and infrastructure committee chairman said the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) for PIL1 is currently being conducted by the project consultant.

"The state government is also applying for allocation from the federal government for PIL1 to be implemented in phases as soon as possible,” he said.

The 19.5km PIL1 is a components of the mega Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project by the state government.

PIL1 will serve as an alternative route to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway to connect the northern part of the island in Gurney Drive to the southern part of the island at the Free Industrial Zone.

Zairil said the state government is aware of the objections by residents in Jesselton Heights especially when part of PIL1 will be along Persiaran Kuari.

"However, the state government will continue to explain the importance of PIL1 for the overall PTMP and that mitigation steps will be taken during the construction process,” he said.

At the same time, he said the state government will study the design and the need for an access road point to PIL1 to be built at the Persiaran Khair area during the detailed design phase of the project.