GEORGE TOWN, Aug 6 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told the August House today that the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) project under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) will not start without the relevant approvals.
Responding to a question by Opposition leader, BN’s Sungai Dua MP Muhamad Yusof Mohd Noor on whether the state might review PTMP due to the objections against it, he said the project is important for Penang’s future.
“We have conducted 229 public engagements on the project and we will continue to engage with associations, stakeholders, groups, individuals and non-governmental organisations on this,” Chow said.
Muhamad Yusof also asked whether the state will continue to implement the project if it did not obtain approval from the Department of Environment (DOE).
Chow, who is also Padang Kota state assemblyman, said the state is committed to fulfilling all DOE requirements for the project.
“We have to submit various reports to the authorities such as social and heritage impact assessments, and the environmental impact assessment report, I believe DOE will study all views and reports,” he said.
He stressed that the state government will not implement the PTMP without obtaining the relevant approvals including from DOE.
“If we don’t get the approvals, we will not start the projects and we will continue to engage with the people on the importance of PTMP for Penang,” he said.
Earlier, in reply to an oral question by Ong Khan Lee (PH — Kebun Bunga) on the detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) for the PTMP, Chow said the DEIA report for three main components of the PTMP was submitted to the DOE.
The three components, under the first phase of the PTMP, were the Bayan Lepas Light Right Transit (LRT), PIL 1 and main roads and tunnel projects.
He said the EIA report for the main road projects was submitted to the DOE on Nov 7 in 2017.
The EIA report for PIL1 was submitted on May 7 this year and currently a public display for the EIA report is being held until August 10.
The EIA report for Bayan Lepas LRT was submitted to the DOE on May 1 last year and Chow said the state is awaiting a reply from the DOE.
The RM46 billion PTMP is the state government’s ambitious public transport plan that included highways and LRT lines to resolve the state’s worsening traffic woes.
The RM7.5 billion PIL 1 is a proposed highway to connect the north of the island to the south side of the island by cutting through hills including in Penang Hill and Paya Terubong while a cable-stayed bridge is proposed to cross over Youth Park, a popular recreational park on the island.