KUANTAN, Dec 6 — The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project in Pahang is on schedule, as it has reached 57 per cent progress as of November 30, said the state Public Works, Transport, Health and Local Government Committee chairman, Datuk Mohammad Fakhruddin Mohd Ariff.

He said that the construction work of the project in Pahang, involving several districts, namely Kuantan, Maran, Temerloh and Bentong, is being carried out briskly, with the project expected to be completed in Dec 2026, and operational in 2027.

“Apart from that, the state government has also allocated RM2 million in 2024 to upgrade the Pahang Skills training facility to a centre of excellence, by developing a new course which is Railway Track Maintenance, in line with the ECRL project,” he said.

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He said this while winding up the debate on the Supply Enactment Bill 2024 (2023), at the Pahang State Legislative Assembly sitting, here today.

To boost train tourism on the route of the Pahang Barat Plus economic region, he said that the state government has allocated RM150,000 in 2024, to promote a train tourism package, involving five KTM stations in Kemayan, Mentakab, Jerantut, Kuala Lipis and Merapoh.

Touching on the road aspect, he said that the committee hoped to receive the benefit of increased distribution from the provision of the Malaysian Road Records Information System (MARRIS) by the federal government, to ensure the state’s roads are in the best condition.

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Extra allocation was also requested due to the fact that the total length of roads under MARRIS in the state increases every year, which is 30,720 kilometres (km) in 2020; 37,022km (2021), 43,036km (2022) and 43,658km (2023).

Meanwhile, the state Communications and Multimedia, Youth, Sports and Non-Governmental Organisation Committee chairman Fadzli Mohamad Kamal, during the winding up, said that the government has provided employment opportunities to ensure the welfare and careers of former state athletes.

He said that currently, 18 former state athletes are working as administrative staff at the Pahang Sports Council, in addition to 59 former athletes appointed as coaches in various sports in the state, including 25 full-time coaches and 34 part-time coaches.

To ensure that Pahang football talents do not migrate to other teams, from 2019, the Pahang Sports Council has started the process of registering Mokhtar Dahari Academy trainees in Gambang as Pahang Sukma athletes.

He said that the results of this initiative can be seen when Pahang was named the runner-up in the President’s Cup and the Youth Cup last year.

The assembly sitting continues Friday. — Bernama