Public give thumbs up to ECRL project
KUANTAN: The construction of the much anticipated East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is turning the dreams of people living in the east coast into reality.
Caterer Zaiton Madon said she had been hearing a lot of positive news about the project since its announcement last year, and decided to follow her husband Nordin Hussin, 59, to witness the historical groundbreaking on Wednesday.
The 53-year-old said she was grateful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for coming up with such a long-term project, which would make it easier for people from the east coast to travel.
“ECRL has been the talk of town. Nobody expected such a major rail project in the east coast as all these years, people only travelled by road or by air.
“It has been a long wait, but I am sure it is going to bring much benefits,” she said, adding that it would be easier for her to visit her children in Kuala Lumpur.
Factory manager Lee Kim Seng, 40, said the project’s groundbreaking at ECRL KotaSAS Central Station Project site here, showed the government’s commitment to fulfil its promise.
He said many people were sceptical when the government announced the project last year, but now they were assured things would slowly fall in place and the east coast states would soon be connected through the ECRL.
Apart from reducing the time taken from the Integrated Transport Terminal (ITT) in Gombak, Selangor, to Kota Baru, Kelantan, to four hours from a current eight hours, ECRL will also train and equip students with railway engineering skills.
Hundreds of students in higher learning institutions and colleges have applied to join the ECRL Industrial Training Programme, a corporate social responsibility initiative of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) yesterday.
One of the applicants, Nurul Amylia Hashim, who is pursuing a degree in civil engineering at Universiti Malaysia Pahang, said she was looking forward to be among the 3,600 students selected for the programme.
The 23-year-old final-year student described it as a once-in-alifetime opportunity, especially for students to acquire rail construction and train operating skill.
“All my coursemates are keeping our fingers crossed and hope to get a positive reply,”said Nurul Amylia.
State Culture and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said the rail link would boost tourism.
“Tourism is all about connectivity.
“The rail line will attract more tourists to the state.” By Amirah Nabilah