MRT Corp keeps Sungai Buloh-Kajang line within RM23b budget

Project director for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line Marcus Karakashian. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Project director for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line Marcus Karakashian. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) succeeded in keeping construction cost for the country's first Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) linking Sungai Buloh and Kajang to below RM23 billion, an official said today.

Project director for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line Marcus Karakashian attributed strict disciplinary control for keeping the project well within its budget, despite previous market speculation that the first phase of the ambitious project could rocket up to RM50 billion.

“Total budget is RM23 billion; we are well under that. We keep good discipline in regards to all changes. We also have limits as well as in regards to the expenditure,” he told a media briefing here.

He said financial limits were made clear to all sections within the organisation, adding that anything that went above those limits required clearance from the CEO.

Karakashian refused to disclose how much the company saved, saying it was not within his position to share the information.

The first phase of the SBK line is scheduled to open this Friday and involves 21km of elevated tracks and 12 stations between the Sungai Buloh station and the Semantan station in Bukit Damansara.

The 12 stations are Sungai Buloh, Kampung Selamat, Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Kota Damansara, Surian, Mutiara Damansara, Bandar Utama, Taman Tun Datuk Ismail, Phileo, Pusat Bandar Damansara and Semantan.

The second phase of the project from Semantan to Kajang will be operational in July, Karakashian said.

He also said the second phase of the SBK Line is currently 94.47 per cent complete, with most of the underground systems done.

MRT Corp is expecting to rake in between RM22 million and RM25 million from retail, advertising and parking (non-fare) revenue annually, its commercial and land management director Datuk Haris Fadzilah Hassan said.

“In terms of the ticket sales we are expecting seven per cent in the longer run,” he added at the media briefing.

The construction of the 51km SBK line, including a 9.5km underground stretch, was launched on July 8, 2011.

It will have 31 stations, including seven underground stations, once fully complete.

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