Penang wants priority for LRT project

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 15, 2018.
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GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government said it will push for the light rail transit (LRT) project under the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan to be given priority by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was sworn in yesterday, said he will personally follow up with SPAD on the project, for which the submission was made in March 2016.

SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd, a 60:20:20 joint venture between Gamuda Bhd, Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd, is the project delivery partner for the master plan, which covers the LRT project as well the 20km Pan Island Link (PIL) and the Penang South Reclamation project.

The LRT project has been delayed several times while awaiting approvals from the authorities.

Overall, the master plan would be funded by the land sale and development on three islands measuring 4,000 acres (1,619ha) off the south-western coast of Penang Island.

“The studies for the PIL are not complete yet. We are waiting for the submission for the environmental impact assessment approval,” Chow said in his first press conference since taking office as the chief minister.

“This will take some time, but the delivery partners will focus on completing all the studies, and submission can be made to the department of environment,” he added.

Asked if the state would consider scaling down the size of the reclamation and seek funds from the federal government as both governments are under Pakatan Harapan, Chow said the state government would welcome any support from the federal government.