GEORGE TOWN, Nov 21 — The Penang light rail transit (LRT) project is on track to become a reality, the state legislative assembly heard today.
State Infrastructure Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the project manager, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp), has already called for a tender to appoint a consultant to conduct research for the project.
"The project is in the research stage and the research is expected to be completed early next year,” he said when replying to a question by Gooi Hsiao-Leung (PKR-Bukit Tengah) on the project.
He assured Gooi that the cross-channel LRT, linking Penang Island and Butterworth, will become a reality.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had announced that the federal government would fund the project.
"The state government has met with MRT Corp in various meetings to discuss the project so we are 100 per cent confident that this project is on track to be built as planned,” he said.
Zairil said the state had also conducted various technical, feasibility and alignment studies on the LRT project.
He said the studies have been handed over to MRT Corp.
"We hope the project will begin in the near future,” he said.
In May this year, Anwar announced that the federal government would fund the development of LRT in Penang.
The LRT alignment, which was originally Bayan Lepas to Komtar, will now be from Bayan Lepas to Komtar to Tanjung Bungah, Air Itam to Butterworth to Kepala Batas and to Simpang Ampat.
Meanwhile, Zairil said the costs, implementation and start date of the project will be decided by the Transport Ministry.
He reiterated the state’s commitment to implement the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).