KUALA LUMPUR: Construction of the Komtar-Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, part of Penang’s multi-billion ringgit Transport Master Plan (PTMP), is expected to begin next year.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the project is awaiting conditional approval by the transport ministry, which will likely be obtained soon.
He said a team from the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) had visited Penang about two weeks ago to view the proposed rail line alignment and assess the suitability of locations for train stations.
“Based on their suggestions and comments, our team (state government) will make the amendments and improvements for Apad to advice the transport minister.
“With that, we will (then) be able to fine-tune the alignment, location of stations and financing packages,” he told Bernama during a recent visit to the national news agency’s headquarters here.
The PTMP, a state-initiated project, is expected to cost an estimated RM46 billion.
It features an undersea tunnel linking the island to the mainland, highways, LRT and monorail, and extensive bus connectivity on both the island and mainland.
SRS Consortium, a joint venture between Gamuda Bhd, Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd, is the project delivery partner for the PTMP and South Reclamation Scheme.
The proposed projects in the first phase of the PTMP include the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) highway, the Bayan Lepas LRT system, and works involving several major roads.
The state government obtained conditional approval for PIL 1 from the Department of Environment (DoE) on April 10 after it reviewed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the project.
The rail line for the LRT project will cover 29.5km 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.
Chow said the LRT project would take between six and eight years to complete. He said a public display would be held for three months to gather public feedback.
“The project delivery partner will assist the state government in implementing the project, securing 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.