Penang takes steps to ease traffic

The LRT project is good news for Penang.

Penang is one of the four major property markets in Malaysia. The continuous growth of its attractiveness depends very much on the implementation of connectivity projects which will drive more investments and visitors to the state.

Any new MNC considering places in Malaysia to set up business will not choose a state where traffic jams occur daily and transporting finished products from the factory to the airport takes a few hours.

Medical tourists do want the best healthcare but not if they have to get stuck in traffic jams daily due to the inability of the existing road system to support an ever increasing number of cars.

In this respect there is good news for Penang, with the upcoming Pan Island Link (PIL) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT).

The PIL has received the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report from the Department of Environment (DOE). Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the approval was conveyed to the state via a letter from the DOE in April 2019.

Chow said with this approval in place, the state considers it a major milestone towards enabling the project to move on the ground. The next phase will be the detailed design phase and later on appointing the best work package contractors through open tender.

This tender will be open to local and international companies towards the end of 2019. Chow also said that the conditional approval for the proposed Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT project, part of Penang’s multi-billion ringgit Transport Master Plan (PTMP) is likely to be obtained soon.

He said a team from the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) had visited Penang and viewed the proposed rail line alignment and location suitability for train stations. Based on their suggestions and comments, the state government will make amendments and improvements for APAD to advise the Transport Minister.

With that, Penang will be able to fine tune the alignment, location of stations and financing packages. The rail line for the LRT project will cover 29.5 kilometres and 27 stations, running from Komtar to the Penang International Airport and to the three future reclaimed islands in the south of Penang, estimated to cost RM8 billion.

The LRT project will take between six to eight years to be completed. Chow said that the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) will be assisting the state government in the project implementation.

Their role include securing the approval, getting funding and delivering it according to the time frame, quality and cost. There should not be any overrun in terms of cost, time and other things he added.

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Charles Tan blogs at property investment site kopiandproperty. He dislikes property speculators and disagrees that renting is better than buying. He thinks it’s either property or poverty. He is presently the CEO of an auction house auctioning assets beyond just properties.