Penang exco man breaks down costs for undersea tunnel, roads

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GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has given a breakdown of how much it had paid in kind for studies for the proposed Penang undersea tunnel and three major roads project to date.

This was after critics took the state to task for giving inconsistent figures on how much it had paid to the project builders.

In a statement, state Public Works Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said only RM208 million had been paid, via a land alienation, to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, at Tanjung Pinang.

He said the amount was just for the feasibility study and detailed design for the three main roads’ project.

The cost breakdown provided by Lim is as follows:

(a) Three major roads project:

Feasibility study cost: RM31.269 million.
Detailed design cost: RM177.485 million.
Total: RM208.754 million

(b) Undersea tunnel project:

Feasibility study cost: RM20 million.
Detailed design cost: RM76.248 million.
Total: RM96.248 million

Therefore, overall feasibility and design cost: RM305.002 million.

Lim said no payment has been made for the undersea tunnel’s feasibility study and detailed design cost, as these were still ongoing.

The “three main roads” (also called three paired roads) project involves highways from Air Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (5.7km), from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang (10.53km), and from Jalan Pangkor-Gurney Drive junction to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (4.1km).

The 7.2km undersea tunnel will connect George Town’s Jalan Pangkor to Bagan Ajam in Butterworth on the mainland. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said on Thursday that the feasibility study for the tunnel was 92% complete.

The overall cost of the two projects was reported to be RM6.3 billion.

Last Saturday, pro-BN Parti Cinta Malaysia lodged its second report on the project at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s headquarters in Putrajaya, claiming it had “new evidence”.

The MACC then raided the offices of the Penang Public Works Department, Penang State Secretary, Penang Land and Mines Department and Penang Valuation and Property Services Department, and three property development and construction companies.

The companies were Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd, 555 Capital Sdn Bhd and Consortium Zenith’s Penang office.

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