JELEBU (May 22): The realignment of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) which will cover the Jelebu district will greatly benefit the people in the area.
This was the view of the Undang (territorial chief) of Jelebu, Datuk Maarof Mat Rashad who hopes that the project would provide a myriad of opportunities and economic overflow to the local residents including more jobs.
"I don’t want the people of Jelebu to be onlookers with the implementation of the project. As such, the project must be carefully planned and focused to benefit the local populace," he told Bernama in an interview recently.
He said that the ECRL project would be able to spur the agriculture and tourism sectors in the district, which was renowned for the Musang King durian variety and pineapples.
"The people from outside Jelebu can come to the district with the availability of the ECRL and enjoy the fruits and this will indirectly spur its economic and tourism sectors," he said.
He added that believes the project would also boost the value of property in Jelebu as the ECRL had also piqued the interest of some corporate companies in the property market in the district.
The Prime Minister's Office, in a statement on April 12, announced that the ECRL project would be continued at a lower cost following the signing of a supplementary agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).
According to the statement, the cost of constructing Phase 1 and 2 of the ECRL had now been reduced to RM44 billion from RM65.5 billion.
The construction of the ECRL would see a new alignment, namely, Kota Bharu-Mentakab-Kuala Kelawang-Bangi/Kajang-Putrajaya and, subsequently, Port Klang.