PENANG GOVT’S DELAYS QUESTIONED
Postponements show it can’t carry out mega projects, says BN rep
APENANG assemblyman has questioned the state government over delays in the implementation of the project to build an undersea tunnel and three accompanying highways.
Pulau Betong assemblyman Datuk Muhammad Farid Saad said the project had yet to start despite the state government’s assurance that it would begin in 2014.
He said the state government’s excuses over the delays were not reasonable.
“The RM6.3 billion agreement for the Undersea Tunnel and three Pan Island Link (PIL) highways was inked in 2013, with the feasibility studies for the tunnel to be completed in 2014.
“(Construction of) the 12km Jalan Teluk Bahang-Tanjung Bungah link was supposed to start in 2015 and completed at the end of 2017. The 4.2km Air Itam-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu link was supposed to start early last year and completed late next year.
“However, until now, the projects have not taken off.”
The state government had proposed the 6.5km Undersea Tunnel project as a third link between the island and the mainland.
The PILs, which will measure 20km long, will include a 4.2km bypass from Persiaran Gurney to Persiaran Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.
The contract for the project was awarded to Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd.
Farid said the starting dates of the highways’ construction were first postponed to early last year.
However, he said, the state government later said although the feasibility studies and detailed designs of the three highways were completed, constructions could only begin in middle of last year.
“In July 2016, we were told that the implementation of the project had been postponed until 2017 because the contractors were not sure if the highways’ designs would be able to support storm water dispersal. They said further studies had to be undertaken.
“In December 2016, we were told there would be another postponement as they found parts of the land along the suggested route for the highways were Federal land.”
Farid said the state government’s announcement meant the construction would start next year.
“The project was supposed to be completed in 2017 and 2018, but now it would only start in mid-2018? Why spend millions on feasibility studies only to realise that the land along the route does not belong to the state government?”
Farid said the consortium’s failure in implementing the projects showed the state government’s incompetence in carrying out mega projects.
“With this project’s failure, how can we be confident in the state government’s ability to implement the Penang Transport Master Plan, which will cost RM40 billion?”
With this project’s failure, how can we be confident in the state government’s ability to implement the Penang Transport Master Plan...? DATUK MUHAMMAD FARID SAAD Pulau Betong assemblyman