Chow to lead Penang delegation to study metro line in Tokyo

The metro line in Tokyo.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow will lead a state delegation to Tokyo to gain insight into the operations of a metro rail line from July 20 to 24.

Chow will be accompanied by his wife, Tan Lean Kee, state Public Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, Penang Public Works Department director Shahabuddin Mohd Muhayidin and representatives from the State Economic Planning Unit.

According to a state government statement, the focus of the visit will be for the delegates to acquire firsthand experience on the requirements of establishing and operating a metro rail line as well as to gain a better understanding of what constitutes a smart city.

Attention will also be focused on the use of alternative sources of power by the Japanese government after the Fukushima nuclear incident in March 2011.

This is vital for Penang as the state government wants to encourage the use of green technology.

Last Wednesday, Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said the Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT project, which is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) proposed by the state government, had been granted conditional approval, subject to compliance with 30 conditions.

He said the conditions included approval for a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA), including traffic, social and heritage assessments.

The state will need to exhibit documents on the project for three months. The final go-ahead will only be given after public responses have been evaluated, said Loke.